JFF and KnowledgeWorks Form New Strategic Partnership for Student-Centered Learning Research

Topics: Impact and Improvement

For more information, please contact JFF’s Communications team at media@jff.org, and Bob Driehaus, partner, Good Government Group LLC for KnowledgeWorks, bdriehaus@g3cincy.com.

CINCINNATI and BOSTON (June 25, 2019) JFF, a national nonprofit driving transformation in the American workforce and education systems, and KnowledgeWorks, a leading national K-12 organization, today announced an exciting new strategic development in the organizations’ longtime partnership. Effective April 30, the Student-Centered Learning Research Collaborative, the startup initiative incubated by JFF, began to transition from JFF to KnowledgeWorks, where it will join the new Impact and Improvement Division focused on building evidence for the practices, supports, and services that provide the most equitable and highest quality personalized education for all students.

“We are proud that JFF served as a platform to launch the spinoff of this innovative and field-changing work,” says JFF CEO Maria Flynn. “Promoting strong systems of learning that place learners and workers at the center remains a strategic priority for JFF. We are particularly excited to push the field to extend the improvement of learning beyond compulsory education to lifelong learning in postsecondary systems, workforce training, and beyond. Transitioning the Research Collaborative to KnowledgeWorks allows us to sharpen our focus on learning beyond K-12 while also celebrating the success of the Collaborative in its new home.”

JFF Associate Vice President Rebecca Wolfe, PhD, and Senior Research Director Eric Toshalis, EdD, have joined KnowledgeWorks as vice president and senior director, respectively, to continue to lead the Research Collaborative work.

“KnowledgeWorks and JFF know how effective student-centered practices have been for improving the trajectories of students at every level in a rapidly changing economy,” KnowledgeWorks President and CEO Chuck Ambrose says. “Using our personalized approach to education, states and school districts are preparing each and every learner for future success. With a strong equity and evidence-based focus, the contributions of the Research Collaborative, under the leadership of Rebecca Wolfe and Eric Toshalis, will help to strengthen teaching and learning practices and build responsive systems that begin to transform the way every student learns to be more personalized and competency-based.”

“By studying and sharing research findings, we can lead the national conversation around education, research, and insights,” Ambrose says.

In less than three years, the Research Collaborative has supported eight studies that investigate the impact of student-centered learning approaches and the extent to which such practices can be used to advance equity in public education; produced numerous field-friendly resources and presentations; and sponsored 15 Distinguished Fellows from across research, education, and policy. The Research Collaborative will continue to be funded by the Nellie Mae Foundation, The Oak Foundation, The Carnegie Corporation of New York, Overdeck Family Foundation and The Barr Foundation. The Students at the Center Hub website, which JFF created with funding from Nellie Mae, will now be managed by KnowledgeWorks.

During the transition period, JFF and KnowledgeWorks will work closely to ensure the seamless transition of the work of the Research Collaborative. This is just one of many ways the two organizations have forged mutually beneficial collaborations and alliances, including previous work with the Early College High School Initiative and continued work as founding steering committee members of the College in High School Alliance, which has helped to expand policies nationally promoting strong transitions from high school into college through dual enrollment and early college strategies.

About JFF

JFF is a national nonprofit that drives transformation in the American workforce and education systems. For 35 years, JFF has led the way in designing innovative and scalable solutions that create access to economic advancement for all. Join us as we build a future that works. www.jff.org


About KnowledgeWorks

KnowledgeWorks is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing personalized learning that empowers all students to take ownership of their success.

With more than 50 professionals working in 11 states, KnowledgeWorks is uniquely positioned to transform cradle to career education because we’re the only organization that simultaneously engages in strategic forecasting, governmental advocacy and working directly with schools. Throughout our 20-year history, we’ve been passionate about collaborating to create a system-wide approach that grows and sustains student-centered practices – all to equip learners for career and life success.

Through customized professional development, in-depth research such as forecasts on the future of learning and federal education policy guidance and state-level ESSA implementation support, KnowledgeWorks has created opportunities for more than 135,000 students in 20 states through competency-based learning and early collegewww.knowledgeworks.org