Overview /

We support educators with big ideas.

We call the big ideas Next Generation Learning because we believe these ideas might finally deliver an educational system that works for all children.

After three years of funding next generation learning, we decided to ask our educators how they go about measuring the success of their big ideas.

This is their story.

Treading New Ground

We are Next Generation Learning Challenges and we represent some of the nation’s most innovative school models across both the charter and district sectors. This report marks the first time we’ve asked our network of innovators to lend their voice to a critical set of questions: how should we go about measuring the success of an educational innovation? What measures matter most?

We hope that the voices and stories of educators featured here will influence the key decision-makers in education. All too often, we find decisions are being made without consulting those on the front lines.

What is Next Generation Learning?

What exactly are we talking about when we say next generation learning? Next generation learning encompasses a diverse set of approaches and is driven by richer, deeper definitions of student success. Popular ideas include:

Personalized Learning / Approaches that individualize learning for each student based on specific strengths and needs, student interests, and/or individualized goals. 
Source: Next Generation Learning Challenges

Competency-Based Education / Approaches that allow students to advance along a learning continuum based on mastery of a given content, rather than based on credits or seat time. 
Source: CompetencyWorks

Deeper Learning / Approaches that enable critical thinking and problem-solving, effective communication, collaboration and self-directed learning. 
Source: The Hewlett Foundation’s Definition of Deeper Learning

Blended Learning / Approaches that employ online, adaptive curricula and other technology to enable flexibility in time, place, path, and pace. Source: The Clayton Christensen Institute

Student-Centered Learning / Approaches that enable students to exert control over their own learning; are competency-based, personalized, and take place anytime and anywhere. 
Source: Students at the Center Hub

Educators with Big Ideas /

Understanding Next Generation Learning

Meet next generation educators and learn more about the schools they lead. Discover how educators describe their innovations.

  • Jin-Soo Huh

    Jin-Soo Huh
    Personalized Learning Manager
    Alpha Public Schools
    San Jose, CA

    Jin-Soo supports Alpha’s teachers as they develop personalized learning practices.

  • Phyllis Lockett

    Phyllis Lockett
    Chief Executive Officer
    LEAP Innovations
    Chicago, IL

    Phyllis and her team support personalized learning in Chicago’s district, charter, and Archdiocese schools.

  • Jeff Heyck-Williams

    Jeff Heyck-Williams
    Director of Curriculum and Instruction
    Two Rivers Public Charter School
    Washington, DC

    Jeff and his team are developing a better way to measure deeper learning in schools.

Where Are Next Generation Schools?

map

Next generation schools are located across the country.

School Locations
  1. Piedmont City School District (Piedmont, AL)
  2. Alpha Public Schools (San Jose, CA)
  3. Da Vinci Schools (Hawthorne, CA)
  4. Leadership Public Schools (Oakland, CA)
  5. Summit Public Schools (Redwood City, CA)
  6. Ednovate (Los Angeles, CA)
  7. e3 Civic High (San Diego, CA)
  8. KIPP Bay Area (San Francisco, CA)
  9. Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools (Los Angeles, CA)
  10. Caliber Schools (Richmond, CA)
  11. Education for Change (Oakland, CA)
  12. Building 21 (Philadelphia, PA)
  13. Design Tech High School (Burlingame, CA)
  14. The Incubator School (Los Angeles, CA)
  15. Thrive Public Schools (San Diego, CA)
  16. Generation Schools Network (Denver, CO)
  17. Ingenuity Prep (Washington, DC)
  18. Foundations College Prep (Chicago, IL)
  19. Intrinsic Schools (Chicago, IL)
  20. KIPP Chicago Schools (Chicago, IL)
  1. Fayette County Public Schools (Lexington, KY)
  2. Danville Schools (Danville, KY)
  3. Match Education (Boston, MA)
  4. Cornerstone Charter Schools (Detroit, MI)
  5. Matchbook Learning (Detroit, MI)
  6. Venture Academies (Minneapolis, MN)
  7. Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (New Hampshire , NH)
  8. Brooklyn Lab Charter School (Brooklyn, NY)
  9. Great Oaks Charter Schools (New York , NY)
  10. Vertus Charter School (Rochester, NY)
  11. Metro Institute of Technology (Columbus, OH)
  12. Lebanon School District (Lebanon, PA)
  13. The Workshop School (Philadelphia, PA)
  14. Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy (Cumberland, RI)
  15. Horry County Schools (Horry County, SC)
  16. Aspire Public Schools (Memphis, TN)
  17. Valor Collegiate Academies (Nashville, TN)
  18. Magnolia Montessori For All (Austin, TX)

Who Manages Next Generation Schools?

Who Manages the Next Generation Schools?

Next generation schools are managed by school districts, charter management organizations, and other entities.

School Type
  1. School District
  2. CMO
  3. Single Charter
  4. Other

Next Generation Schools and Percentage of Students who Qualify for Free/Reduced Lunch

Next Generation Schools and Percentage of Students who Qualify for Free/Reduced Lunch

Next generation schools serve a high percentage of students who qualify for free and reduced lunch.

% of Students
  1. 10–25%
  2. 25–50%
  3. 50–75%
  4. 75–100%

How Do Next Generation Educators Describe Their Models?

How Do Next Generation Educators Describe Their Models?

We asked next generation educators to share what ideas they felt were “core to their model.” Amongst the most popular responses were terms such as “personalized learning” and “blended learning,” although most next generation educators chose multiple labels.

% of Students
  1. Personalized Learning
  2. Blended Learning
  3. Project-Based / Experiential Learning
  4. Competency-Based Learning
  5. Focus on Social- Emotional Supports
  1. Deeper Learning Goals for Students
  2. Student-Centered Learning
  3. Innovative Staffing Model
  4. Gamified Learning

Measures that Matter /

Explore findings from an original survey of next generation educators. Discover how educators talk about measures that matter most. For more detail on the methodology behind the data, please download the full report here.

How Do You Know Your Innovations Are Effective? (By Stakeholder)

How do you know your innovations are effective?

Next generation educators use a wide range of both traditional and nontraditional measures to determine if their innovations are improving learning for their students. Measures involve different stakeholders such as students, staff, and families. Some measures assess the organizational health of the school.

Students
Staff
School
Family
  1. State Testing/Common Core
  2. NWEA MAP
  3. Teacher-Generated Assessments
  4. Student Surveys
  5. Rubric-Based Evaluation
  6. Staff Surveys
  7. School Culture
  8. Family Surveys
  9. Student Conversations and Focus Groups
  10. Teacher Conversations and Focus Groups
  11. PSAT/ACT/SAT and College Entrance Requirements
  12. Social Emotional Learning
  13. Student Progress on Individual Goals
  14. Teacher Practice
  15. Standardized Formative Assessments
  1. External Evaluation
  2. Student Pace on Mastery
  3. Student Ownership of Learning
  4. Student Retention
  5. Student Attendance
  6. Rate of Adoption Within School
  7. College Enrollment
  8. Student Projects
  9. Family Conversations and Focus Groups
  10. College Persistence
  11. Performance Relative to Other Schools
  12. Replication by Other Schools
  13. Student Enrollment
  14. Staff Retention Rate
  15. Credit Accumulation

How Do You Know Your Innovations Are Effective? (By Time Period)

Do You Measure Success Over the Short-Term or Long-Term?

Here we report on success measures that are short-term (less than six months) and long-term (greater than six months). We find that, across the board, next generation educators rely on both short-term improvement measures and
 longer-term outcomes simultaneously. Note: the low numbers of high school-related measures might reflect the low number of schools serving 11th and 12th graders in our sample.

Greater than 6 Mos
Less than 6 Mos
  1. State Testing/Common Core
  2. NWEA MAP
  3. Teacher-Generated Assessments
  4. Student Surveys
  5. Rubric-Based Evaluation
  6. Staff Surveys
  7. School Culture
  8. Family Surveys
  9. Student Conversations and Focus Groups
  10. Teacher Conversations and Focus Groups
  11. PSAT/ACT/SAT and College Entrance Requirements
  12. Social Emotional Learning
  13. Student Progress on Individual Goals
  14. Teacher Practice
  15. Standardized Formative Assessments
  1. External Evaluation
  2. Student Pace on Mastery
  3. Student Ownership of Learning
  4. Student Retention
  5. Student Attendance
  6. Rate of Adoption Within School
  7. College Enrollment
  8. Student Projects
  9. Family Conversations and Focus Groups
  10. College Persistence
  11. Performance Relative to Other Schools
  12. Replication by Other Schools
  13. Student Enrollment
  14. Staff Retention Rate
  15. Credit Accumulation

What Measures Are You Considering for the Future?

Student Longitudinal Data
Student Badging
Validated Performance Tasks
Evaluation of Support Programs

Next generation educators want better longitudinal data to measure students’ content knowledge, academic skills, and social-emotional development. They are considering, and in some cases already experimenting with, other measures such as externally-validated performance tasks and badging systems.

Tools for Measuring Success /

Discover some of the most promising tools and resources next generation schools are using to measure their big ideas. Here, we highlight schools with a diverse array of both big ideas and new measurement approaches. Click on school name to download case study:

  • Two-Rivers
    Two Rivers Public Charter School

    This project-based learning network in Washington, DC is working to better measure the transferability of deeper learning outcomes.

  • Fullerton
    Fullerton School District

    This school district in California is piloting a personalized online quest and measuring increases in student engagement.

  • Cornerstone
    Cornerstone Charter Schools

    This network in Detroit, MI is developing implementation measures of personalized learning as a leading indicator of academic achievement.

  • Shue-Medill
    Shue-Medill Middle School

    This middle school in Newark, DE is using tools from the field of Improvement Science to measure increases in student motivation.

  • Summit
    Summit Public Schools

    This network of charter schools and district partners uses multiple short-term and long-term measures to assess student outcomes.

  • Leap
    LEAP Innovations

    This network of district, charter, and Archdiocese schools is measuring the impact of personalized learning on student achievement.

  • Montessori
    National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector

    This national support organization for public Montessori schools is developing a classroom observation rubric to measure students’ executive functioning and social emotional skills.

  • Enlarged-City
    Enlarged City School District of Middletown

    This district in upstate New York is partnering with Education Elements to measure the impact of personalized learning on student achievement.

Get Involved /

The data reported above reflect a picture of an innovative space in education that is focused on measurement along different definitions, measures, and tools. Next generation educators value multiple measures, measures that involve multiple actors (family, parents, students, teachers), measures that are longitudinal, and measures that provide both short-term and long-term data. The preliminary data reported above provide a roadmap for funders, policymakers, and technologists to help deliver measures that matter most.


Get involved and lend your voice to Measures that Matter Most.

Get Involved and Lend Your Voice to Measures That Matter Most

If you are interested in sharing your expertise with funders and researchers working to develop a new measurement framework for education, we encourage you to speak up! We need your voice at the table together with researchers and funders. Tweet your ideas #MeasuresThatMatter.

Are You a Researcher?

We encourage you to continue to work with practitioners to provide formative evidence that embraces multiple learning modalities and a deeper, richer definition of student success. We need your help to develop and validate new measurement tools that focus on student learning, rather than on teacher practice.

Are You a Funder or Policymaker?

We’re calling on you to help support long-lasting practitioner/researcher relationships where practitioners inform the research from the outset. As this report has shown, educators have both new ideas on how to transform school and how to measure the success of their innovations.

Our Story /

Dalia Hochman has been working on educational improvement and innovation for nearly twenty years. With each new innovation, she has wondered about the ways the education field measures the success of great ideas. A year ago, Dalia began a conversation with Britt Neuhaus at Overdeck Family Foundation. From her experiences supporting innovation as a practitioner at the school and district level, and now as a funder, Britt shared many of Dalia’s questions about what measures matter most as educators test hypotheses for new school designs. Together, Dalia and Britt launched this project and began exploring what a new measurement framework for innovation that relied more heavily on the educator’s voice would look like. Dalia and the NGLC team are grateful to Overdeck Family Foundation for making this journey possible. We are especially grateful to Allie Steel for her research expertise.

Dalia Hochman Dalia Hochman
Britt Neuhaus Britt Neuhaus

Our Measurement Approach

Research for this report included four activities:



1. We held over twenty conversations with key practitioners, researchers, and thought-leaders.



2. We reviewed key literature on personalized learning, blended learning, deeper learning and other innovative approaches.



3. We administered an original survey to NGLC national grantees to understand measures that matter most.



4. Through due diligence and recommendations by colleagues, we dug deep on eight diverse approaches to measurement from schools or networks of schools across both the charter and district sectors.

About Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC)

Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) catalyzes and accelerates educational innovation to dramatically improve college readiness and completion in the United States. NGLC is an initiative of EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education through the use of information technology. Since 2011, NGLC has provided more than $75 million in investment capital to foster the development of transformational, student-centered K-12 and postsecondary models and to expand the use of learning technologies, all aimed at improving the quality and depth of learning outcomes in the U.S., particularly for low-income students. These grants have catalyzed many of the leading new models in postsecondary education and K-12. Together, these breakthrough grantees constitute a national vanguard of schools, colleges, and universities creating fundamentally new models of learning and institutional organization. Funding for NGLC has been provided principally by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.


About Overdeck Family Foundation

Overdeck Family Foundation’s mission is to help all kids achieve their greatest academic potential. We aim to support change in the field to create the next generation of engaged, passionate, creative thinkers. We fund efforts in education, across the birth-to-high school spectrum in the United States. We bring our data and partnership oriented mindset to education challenges by identifying gaps and inefficiencies in existing systems and developing creative solutions with our partners: building proof points, shining spotlights on what works, and scaling successes broadly. We recognize the complexity of the issues we explore and invest in, and believe in the power of collaboration to bring innovative solutions to persistent challenges.

More to Come!

The report being released today represents the first part of our analysis of NGLC grantees’ efforts to measure the impact of their innovations. Additional findings relating to their richer, deeper definitions of student success will be released this fall.