Needs Clearing House

Learning Resource Availability Campaign

This campaign/project will serve to ensure no students is hindered in achieving the goal of 100% grade level master by the end of the school year due to lack of access to learning resources.  The campaign consists of the following components:

  1. Getting publishers of learning tools that have shown significant promise and are likely to help a large % of 4th graders master K-4 math within a single year to pledge to help any students that want to use their tools.  This includes tools such as Khan Academy, McGraw Hill ALEKS, dreambox, etc.  The help would include:
    1. seeking creative solutions to ensure cost is not a hindering factor
    2. providing on-line training to teachers and mentor/coaches that would help students using their tools
    3. providing effective real-time support to teachers, mentor/coaches and students that are trying to achieve the goal of 100% mastery
  2. Getting Device Manufacturers and Bandwidth Providers to pledge to help ensure no student is limited in their ability to achieve the 100% mastery goal due to lack of access to enabling technology.
  3. Getting school and district administrators to pledge to support the availability of learning resources and enabling technology by ensuring bureaucratic or similar concerns (e.g. integration, long-term considerations, etc.) do not hinder or delay making enabling technology work (under the motto that “better is the enemy of good” (in other words, pursuing “better” often blocks attainment of “good”).
  4. Arranging for availability of a “clearing house function” that will simplify the matching of learning tools and enabling technology with the need for such resources. (Many schools already have such resources or at least resources that are adequate. An internet-based clearing house application would simplify getting resources to those that need them the most. 
  5. Getting local Communities Leaders and Organizations to organize a local entity (described as a separate project) to help with ensuring the availability of access to learning tools and enabling technology (e.g. helping ensure computing devices and bandwidth is available – if not in the schools then perhaps in some other local venue).  This could include arranging funding/partial funding for technology resources or organizing a local used computer drive, etc.  Whatever it takes.

Many of these publishers, manufacturers and providers have already pledged very significant support through the White House’s ConnectEd initiative.  The Ready-for-fifth Initiative is an ideal opportunity for many of these companies to fulfill that pledge.

Potential Partners:

Given that the students need as much of this year as possible to work to achieve the 100% mastery goal, it is important that satisfaction of resource needs be a matter of weeks and not months.  We need to ensure as many potential players as possible in this area are on board as quickly as possible.  Having said that, we expect that a number of partners to respond in reaction to the Initiative Kickoff publicity campaign.

  1. Learning Tools Publishers:  The Ready-for-fifth Initiative is an ideal opportunity for these for- and non-profit entities to demonstrate the effectiveness of the products and services to the education community which is very much in their interest.  Publishers that get a significant % of schools/teachers using their tools will have a significant advantage in other parts of the education markets should they be successful.
    1. As part of this project we will reach out to the most likely Learning tools Publishers and try to get them on board before the publicity campaign kickoff.  As part of the publicity campaign,
      1. we would provide the Learning Tool Publishers a platform for creating awareness that we consider their tools to be particularly effective (e.g. the opportunity to be present and be referred to as a key partners at a Ready-for-fifth Initiative Press Conference/media event)
      2. Ideally, we would want these Learning Tool Publishers to provide flanking publicity in the form of press releases and ads and commercials noting their support/participation in the Initiative as well as the features of their product/service solutions.
    2. Many of the Learning Tool Publishers have already pledged to support the White House’s ConnectEd Initiative.  This is a great opportunity to follow through on that pledge with ongoing publicity.
    3. If this Initiative is successful in achieving the publicity and participation hoped (or even a significant part of it) then those Learning Tools participants that are participating are likely to have a significant marketing advantage over those that did not participate in the market in the future, especially since the initiative intends to expand to additional grade levels in the subsequent years until all grade levels and all core subjects are included.
  2. Enabling Technology Providers: Computing Devices and Internet Bandwidth will increasingly be a critical part of the education environment.  The Ready-for-fifth Initiative in conjunction with the White House’s ConnectEd Initiative are a great opportunity for these players to establish their presence in many schools and to demonstrate how good a partner they are.
    1. This project would interact with Technology Partners in much the same way as with Learning Tool Publishers in that we would reach out in advance and win the endorsement and support of as many as possible, especially for supporting publicity measures.
  3. The Needs Clearing House web application (the web site that enables schools, teachers, etc. to post their needs and national as well as local companies and organizations and other supporters to meet those needs).   We hope to be able to get an existing organization like DonorsChoose.org to provide this service (organizations like Scholastic could also come into question for this service).
    1. We would ensure all schools and teachers are aware of the role of that service and also ensure learning tool publishers and enabling technology providers are monitoring the Ready-for-fifth needs.  In addition to resource providers, we hope this function will facilitate any person or entity contributing to quickly satisfying any Initiative-related need. (e.g. funding donations or Community Support organizations getting involved).
    2. We would ask that any Needs Clearing House partner provide a way to designate a need as being Ready-for-fifth Initiative-related and for resource providers or those that would help to be

It is intended that a special team will take on this project and start the reach-out campaign in the near future.  If you would like to be part of this team, or if you are affiliated with a Learning Tools Publisher, an Enabling Technology Provider or a Needs Clearing House Service, and would like to find out more about the initiative or how you could be involved, please contact us at one of the following addresses:

Thank you for your interest in improving education and the future prospects of our society.