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

By studying and sharing practices and findings, partnership can lead the national conversation on education research and insights.

June 25, 2019

At a Glance

By studying and sharing practices and findings, partnership can lead the national conversation on education research and insights.

Originally Published on PR Newswire
Originally Published on PR Newswire
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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 Knowledge Works, 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...

Maria Flynn, president and CEO, JFF

“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 SeniorResearch Director Eric Toshalis, EdD, have joined KnowledgeWorks as vice president and senior director, respectively, to continue to lead the ResearchCollaborative 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.

About KnowledgeWorks

KnowledgeWorks is a national nonprofit dedicated to advancing personalized, competency-based learning that creates equitable opportunities for each student. With nearly 20 years of experience exploring the future of learning, growing educator impact and working with policymakers, our team partners with schools and communities to grow a system-wide approach to sustain student-centered practice.