Today, we expect our students to be ready for the 21st century. Now more than ever, they are asked to learn more, to master new technology, and to apply what they have learned. These skills, including critical thinking and problem solving, effective communication, collaboration, and academic mindsets are competencies often referred to as “deeper learning.”
A new issue of theState Education Standard, the National Association of State Boards of Education’s award-winning journal, is dedicated to the topic of deeper learning, and how state policymakers — and state boards of education in particular — are in a position to adopt policies that ensure students graduate from high school with the knowledge and skills to succeed in college, career, and civic life.
Since 2005, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, with collaboration and co-funding from research councils in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, and Norway and from the World Bank, has invested in a portfolio of social science research on the relationship between population dynamics and micro- and macroeconomic outcomes; the portfolio is known as the Population and Poverty Research Initiative (PopPov). The initiative also supports doctoral dissertation fellowships, conferences, and a range of dissemination activities.
In November 2012, the foundation issued a request for proposals (RFP) for an evaluation of PopPov, to help guide the foundation’s decisions about both the substance and means of future investments in it. The RAND Corporation was selected to conduct the evaluation.
This report should be of interest to individuals who have been supported by PopPov or otherwise involved with PopPov activities; researchers, donors, and advocates with interests in population and development; and analysts who may conduct evaluations of similar initiatives.
As part of our Grantmaker Speaker Series, Melanie Cervantes and Quinn Delaney of Akonadi Foundation visited the Foundation to discuss their concept of "ecosystem grantmaking." Their approach focuses on a"diverse web of relationships among communities, organizations and political formations" in order to support movement building and social change.
It was great to see this post by David Bornstein on his New York Times “Fixes” blog asking: Can Government Play Moneyball? That is, can government shift funding for social services and education programs to invest more in evidence-based solutions? Bornstein’s post highlights the work of Hewlett Foundation grantees Results for America and the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy, and includes some observations from our own Daniel Stid.
Last month, Hewlett Foundation President Larry Kramer participated in a webinar with Nan Aron of the Alliance for Justice and Aaron Dorfman of the National Committee on Responsive Philanthropy on "Breakthrough Philanthropy: Leadership to Move Policy." AFJ later created a Storify about the webinar, and shared highlights from it on their Bolder Advocacy blog.
The OERu [Open Educational Resources universitas, a group of colleges and universities committed to providing free education to students worldwide] made history when a distance education student in our Open Learning Division who had completed an open course in the OERu received formal credit for this course by my university.
As part of our Grantmaker Training Series, Bill Somerville of Philanthropic Ventures Foundation talked to Hewlett Foundation staff about "Investing in People." During his talk, Bill challenged us to reduce the paperwork burden we place on our grantees and focus on people we believe can make a difference rather than our own concepts and strategies.
Hewlett Foundation President Larry Kramer recently sat down with the Higher Education Teaching and Learning Portal for an interview about the Foundation's commitment to Open Educational Resources (OER). Among the hghlights:
LK: Part of our goal with OER is to change the way people think about openness and sharing. Our current education system bottles everything up with “all rights reserved” copyrights that can only be overcome with significant justification and effort. We want to flip the presumption, to make openness and sharing the presumed default. With such a shift in mindset, we could dramatically increase access and productivity in higher education—and maybe find a way to serve those next 100 million learners around the world.
Federal environmental regulators, citing risks to water quality and salmon spawning grounds in one of the world’s richest fisheries, moved on Friday to block the development of a giant open-pit copper mine in the watershed of Bristol Bay in southwest Alaska.
While the decision by the Environmental Protection Agency was not an outright death blow to the project, called the Pebble Mine, it left little room for the mine and its supporters to persuade the agency otherwise. E.P.A. officials said they would now start gathering additional information and public comment under a provision of the federal Clean Water Act that could end any chance of the mine project’s going ahead.
This is a clear victory for the environment, and one made possible by the work of many of our Environment Program grantees, including Trout Unlimited and the New Venture Fund's Bristol Bay United Project.