A Boost for Urban School Systems

ERS Receives Multimillion Dollar Support to Aid the Transformation of Urban School Systems

Education Resource Strategies is honored to announce the receipt of two significant grants to support the transformation of how urban school systems organize resources so that every school succeeds for every child.

Carnegie Corporation of New York has generously awarded $1.5 million to support strategic designs for high schools and to grow our capacity to help urban districts implement them; The Noyce Foundation has generously granted us $2.25 million to expand our research, broaden distribution of our tools, and increase our capacity to work with district and state partners, with the potential for another $2.25 million contingent on matching funds.

“We are thrilled to continue our long relationship with both Carnegie Corporation of New York and The Noyce Foundation,” said ERS Executive Director Karen Hawley Miles, “This funding will allow us to more powerfully support our vision of strong urban school systems across America, so that all students reach their potential.”

With this funding, ERS plans to create tools and training to support innovative school designs—that is, schools that intentionally organize their people, time, and money for student success. Depending on the situation, this may mean creating effective teacher teams, differentiating teacher roles, or implementing flexible scheduling that allows for individual attention and personal relationships.

This funding will also make it possible for ERS to conduct significant research into how different resource strategies affect student outcomes. Drawing on our extensive database of information from large urban school districts around the country, we can start to investigate, for example, whether teacher teaming provides as great an impact on student outcomes as certain compensation models, or whether certain flexible grouping strategies are as cost effective as others. We will also be able to build powerful tools, such as an online program to model teacher compensation options, or a turnaround toolkit, to allow any district to make informed, effective resource decisions.

“We’re thrilled to support ERS through the next stage of its growth,” said Leah Hamilton, Program Director for New Designs at Carnegie Corporation of New York. “Their efforts to understand and create the conditions for strong school designs offer many lessons for the field, and are an important part of the national focus on developing new models that meet student needs.”

We are grateful to continue our relationships with both The Noyce Foundation and Carnegie Corporation. With their help, ERS has emerged as a sought-after expert on school system strategy and resource use, and a partner with the most innovative districts in the country. We hope to seize this opportunity to create shining examples of school system transformation and mobilize a community of leaders advocating for change.

This post was revised on January 7, 2014, to reflect updated funding amounts.