A significant achievement gap, which occurs when one group of students outperforms another group, continues to exist between students from low-income families and communities of color and their peers in Greater Denver’s K-12 public school system. This gap persists into higher education where Colorado ranks 49th out of 50 in the difference between white students and the next largest ethnic group (Latino) in number of adults with an associate’s degree or higher.
The Impact We Seek
To eliminate the achievement gap and create equitable opportunities for all children to achieve academic success in the K-12 public school system through:
- Recruitment, growth and retention of effective teachers
- Evidence-based changes that make the education system fundamentally different than before and result in academic achievement gains for students
To address these needs in education, we fund programs and projects in these areas:
- Educator effectiveness
- Systemic change
Collaborations and Leadership in Education
In addition to inviting grant applications for these grant priorities, the Education program area creates and participates in initiatives to change the community. Here are a few examples:
- National Funding Partnerships – We are supporting K-12 education initiatives in the Greater Denver community in partnership with the Ford Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Learn more about this partnership.
- Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund – The Aspen Institute’s Forum for Community Solutions named us a founding partner to work with “opportunity youth,” young people between the ages of 16 – 24 who are neither enrolled in school nor participating in the labor market. Investing in these young people will have a positive impact on our economy and future generations. Read the announcement from The Aspen Institute.
- Colorado Legacy Foundation – We were one of the first investors and continue to support this organization that has become a leader in effective K-12 education reform in Colorado. Visit Colorado Legacy Foundation's website.
- ProComp – We invested nearly $4 million in ProComp, the groundbreaking teacher-compensation system adopted by Denver Public Schools. Learn more here.
A variety of resources inform our work in Education. View our studies and reports.
We invite you to join us as we connect people, resources and innovative ideas to strengthen the community. Please contact the Education program officer if you are interested in joining us in this work.