The Partnership for Los Angeles Schools has announced grants totaling $1.6 million from several California foundations in support of its Digital Learning initiative, which works to bring technology and education software into classrooms serving low-income students.
Piloted during the 2010-11 school year, the initiative builds on a blended-learning model that combines facilitated face-to-face learning, e-learning, and self-study. Grants from the Broad, Riordan, Whitman-Harsh Family, OneWest, Weingart, and W.M. Keck foundations will enable the partnership, which operates twenty-two schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District, to implement its math program across the network as well as pilot programs for secondary English language arts courses in many of its schools.
During the pilot period, researchers found that test scores of students in classrooms where the program was fully implemented increased by more than 25 percent and that all schools involved in the pilot saw meaningful gains. Given the findings, the partnership aims to increase implementation of the program across LAUSD and roll out blended learning in English courses at all its schools in 2012-13.
"The technology allows our teachers to reach the many different learning levels we find throughout our classrooms," said Partnership for Los Angeles Schools CEO Marshall Tuck. "The reality in our poorest schools is that our classrooms are often filled with children with wide-ranging academic abilities. Some are at grade level, a few above, but many lag behind due to all sorts of factors. Our Digital Learning initiative provides our teachers with new technology tools, enabling instruction at a variety of learning levels all within the same classroom."