Education Circle Selects Grantees, Kicks Off Five New Projects

After a significant period of of issue-area exploration, inquiry, and research (known as the Grant Cycle) Education Circle Members have voted on five new grants to round out their investment portfolio for 2011. Full Circle Fund is thrilled to announce these partners and give a brief overview of the projects, which are:

> Pivot Learning Partners

  • in partnership with Full Circle Fund and the North Bay Teacher Evaluation Collaborative, will bring 12 districts together to study and revise teacher evaluation systems. This professional learning community will share best practices to provide a larger context in a series of six to eight meetings facilitated by Full Circle Fund to bring new information to negotiation teams, and improve evaluation systems. Team members will also develop a set of tools and materials based on these meetings and other research to help pave the way for cross-district collaborative approach to redesigning major district systems.

Organization Leader:

  • Merrill Vargo (a former Full Circle Fund Member)

Full Circle Fund Project Leads:

  • Paul Collins and Katherine Casey.

Team members:

  • Karen Alden, Ken Wun, Deborah Barron, Andrew Bartlow, Gabrielle Kivitz, Penny Dyer and David Traub.

> Leadership Public Schools (LPS): The Smartphones for Smart Kids Project pairs technology with LPS brand best teaching practices in four East Bay charter high schools. Full Circle Fund team members will help design community campaign to connect with companies and individuals in bay area for donation of phone, create a strategy for sustainable innovation. The team will also help LPS drive policy on effective and appropriate use of mobile devices in public schools. Note, LPS was a 2004 Full Circle Fund grantee. Organization Leader: Louise Bay Waters Full Circle Fund Project Leads: Steve Bronstein and Greg Wolff Team members: Nathan Fisher and Aaron McDaniel

> Khan Academy provides individualized and differentiated curriculum to anyone, anywhere. Khan Academy serves about 1 million students each month. They successfully piloted classroom curriculum in five Los Altos schools in 2010. With Full Circle Fund’s help Khan Academy in the classroom will grow to more than ten school districts in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties by 2012. In Phase I, Full Circle Fund team members will convene key stakeholders, conduct interviews and facilitate small group sessions to understand how to successfully use Khan Academy to teach math. In Phase II the team will help create a Teacher Toolkit via writing, editing, graphic design and video recording. Organization Leaders: Salman Khan and Shantanu Sinha Full Circle Fund Project Leads: Clayton Yee and Russ Wallace Full Circle Fund Team: Kim Jacobson, Peter Kuperman, Carolyn Davies, Margret Caruso, Nick Driver, Kristen Sager, Ron Turiello, Kristin McKennon, and Jillian Settle

> Children Now: Mobilizes communities to support education reform by building infrastructure to harness the power of California’s education and children’s’ organization. The organization has had a great deal of success since they were founded in 1998, most recently in 2009 with the passage of Senate Bill 19, which removes all barriers to the use of achievement data linked to individual teachers and principals for the purpose of evaluation, a critical step in ensuring that California is eligible to compete for the federal Race to the Top education funding. Full Circle Fund's team will help Children Now to develop and execute an outreach strategy to bring at least 120 California organizations and their stakeholders together under a common umbrella of educational reform.

Organization Leader: Ted Lempert Full Circle Fund Project Leads: Casey Farmer and James Lee. Full Circle Fund Team: Jennifer Anastasoff, Evan Lurie, and Joe Ross

> The project was also approved by the Education Circle and the Grant Advisory Committee as part of the 2011 Education Grant Portfolio. The goal of the project is to develop more grass-tops leadership for education change with better knowledge of change options to make wise policy choices for California education more likely. Have YOU subscribed? Project/Organization Leader: Jeff Camp

Full Circle Fund Team: Ritu Sharma, Jacob Stiglitz, and Ron Turiello

A huge thanks goes out to all the potential grantees who participated in the Education grant cycle as well as all the Inquiry Team Leads and new Project Team Leads for their incredible passion and commitment. Congratulations to all the members of the Education Circle, the project teams, and our newest Full Circle Fund nonprofit partners!

These new projects are kicking off now! To learn how to get involved, contact our Membership Associate by email to talk about becoming a member and joining one of the Education Circle's new grant project teams.

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