The Impact We Intend to Support
Our vision for education is that all students have access to what they need, when they need it. For some this will mean accelerating beyond the fixed pace of today’s classroom. For others it will mean being given opportunities for extended practice of skills or content they have yet to master. For all students, it will mean learning experiences that are tailored specifically to their progress against a clear set of academic standards; receiving constant, actionable information on their progress; and experiencing the deep, one-on-one engagement with their teacher and other students that is often missing from today’s classrooms. We and many others call this vision personalized learning.
We believe that adaptive digital learning tools, or “courseware,” can extend the reach of teachers to make personalized learning possible, particularly for students who are underserved by the current education system. Leading mathematics courseware products have already produced strong evidence that this is possible.
We also believe that mastery of literacy skills is critical to students’ long-term success. However, despite growing acknowledgement of the importance of literacy and decades of reform efforts, U.S. students’ literacy skills have barely improved over the past forty years and are failing to keep up with the growth of other nations. Currently, a third of U.S. 8th graders are proficient in reading and writing. This has to change for our students to be prepared for 21st century college and careers.
The goal of this Challenge is to stimulate development of courseware supporting literacy instruction.