Individual Projects

Educator Networks

K-12 Education | College Access and SuccessEducator Networks

America Achieves launched and led the Educator Networks, including a Global Learning Network and state and national Educator Fellowships, to leverage and share the expertise and ideas of outstanding educators beyond their schools. The networks empower educators to shape education decisions—from policy to instructional practice—and build the knowledge base of what works. The first America Achieves program of any kind was a fellowship for classroom teachers and school leaders, enabling them to leverage their voices and share their experience and expertise to create meaningful impact beyond their classrooms, schools, and communities. Leveraging Educator Expertise: How You Can Use Your Voice for Change recognizes the impact of many of our educators, shares effective strategies, and highlights many of our lessons learned.

Our programs blended a longstanding focus on improving equity, academic rigor, and success with a focus on education-to-employment—working with educators to develop new tools, processes, and instructional resources (from career exploration curricula to industry-aligned career pathways and performance tasks) to help prepare students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for career and life success. Setting a Vision for Career Readiness in Your School served as the foundational white paper on career readiness. It was followed by additional work, including the development and implementation of the Quest for Success career exploration curriculum. That curriculum is now in use with approximately 30,000 students in Louisiana alone. This also included the design and piloting of sample, industry-aligned, Problem-Based Learning performance tasks in Colorado to help students develop and demonstrate mastery of key, career-ready competencies, including a partnership with Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) and Dallas-area districts and business, higher education, and community partners to launch new, high-quality, high school mechatronics career pathways in schools across the metro-region.

This initiative also worked with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to pilot and scale an assessment and network, enabling schools to benchmark performance and learn from the world’s best schools. Educator Networks spun off from America Achieves to become a program at Cambiar Education in 2020.


K-12 Education | College Access and SuccessGripTape

America Achieves started working with former Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy to incubate GripTape four years ago. Mark’s idea was to develop a replicable, research-based method to develop youth agency—and put young people in charge of their learning. Grip Tape has raised about $5 million, is supporting young people in 30 states, and is publishing a series of reports and findings to help others nationwide adapt GripTape’s evidence-based methods. Grip Tape has just moved out of America Achieves to become its own independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.


K-12 Education | College Access and SuccessCollegePoint

The CollegePoint initiative helps low and moderate-income students apply to, enroll in, and graduate from top-performing colleges–having served tens of thousands students to date. America Achieves partnered with Bloomberg Philanthropies starting in 2013 to conceive this strategy for college advising and scholarships, and develop the partnerships to implement the program. A coalition of funders provided funding of $42 million over 5 years to support key program partners. CollegePoint has moved out of America Achieves to become a program inside Bloomberg Philanthropies. One CollegePoint partner – the non-profit 501(c)(3) Matriculate – was launched at America Achieves and leverages peer-to-peer interactions and social networks to support low-income students in the college application and financial aid process.

CollegePoint is a nationwide effort to address a solvable challenge: every year tens of thousands of hardworking, high-achieving students from low- and moderate-income families fail to apply to top-performing colleges and universities that they are qualified to attend. When these high-achievers do apply to institutions with the highest graduation rates and manageable debt loads, they are accepted, enrolled, and graduate at the same rates as their wealthier peers. But, over 50% of these students don’t apply to a single top school. Instead, they end up at open-access, two- or four-year colleges well below their abilities—and leave with more debt, lower graduation rates, and dramatically reduced career and leadership opportunities.

We help high school students prepare for success in college, careers, and life. We also help low- and moderate-income students apply to, enroll in, and graduate from well-matched, strong colleges.