Second Award Builds on Two-Year Effort to Increase Equity & Opportunities in Urban Public Schools  

PROVIDENCE – Brown University’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform (AISR) was awarded a one-year, $1-million renewal grant from the Ford Foundation to continue AISR’s ongoing support of the foundation’s More and Better Learning Time (MBLT) initiative, and to provide strategic assistance to specific organizations working for educational justice.

1037 The initial, two-year, $1.75-million Ford Foundation grant, issued in spring 2014, underwrote AISR’s Time for Equity project, which focused on leveraging time for school equity by amplifying the creative and various uses of learning time, in and out of school, especially for high-poverty communities in the nation’s most underserved public schools.

Building on the previous award, the second grant will fund Time for Equity’s direct support to school districts and local organizations that are systematically advancing education equity; the tracking, dissemination and amplification of grantees’ outcomes to increase their collective impact on education equity; and research on measurement tools to refine their efforts to create expanded and improved learning opportunities for all students.

Additionally, the new funding will help sustain the community-organizing infrastructure needed to support the education justice movement in the U.S., and support the development of strategies and tools to shift the public narrative toward support for more equitable and effective public education reform.

“AISR is very appreciative that the Ford Foundation has substantially re-invested in our MBLT work through our Time for Equity project and its effort to build partnerships that reinforce equity in the nation’s most underserved communities and schools,” said Warren Simmons, AISR executive director.  “Furthermore, the foundation’s support for parents and youth pressing for equity-based, community-centered education reform is crucial for the sustenance and evolution of the education equity movement.”

The objective of the Ford Foundation’s MBLT initiative is to make more and better learning time the “new normal” across American schools, especially in underserved communities, by adapting the school day and year to the learning needs of students and the lives of working families. The goal is not just to add time to the school day and year but also to ensure that multiple levers are provided that promote and improve educational opportunities for all students.

“The Ford Foundation is pleased to continue its partnership with AISR on the shared journey toward educational and learning systems that are more just, equitable, and adaptive to the needs of all students,” said Sanjiv Rao, program officer for Educational Opportunity and Scholarship. “We look forward to the continued partnership and to learning from the leadership it provides to the field and to broader movements for educational and social justice.” 


Watch Ford Foundation video on More and Better Learning Time
Read more about AISR's Time for Equity project
Explore Time for Equity Indicators Framework website tool
Download Leveraging Time for School Equity research report
Read Voices in Urban Education #40 online: Time for Equity: Expanding Access to Learning  


About More and Better Learning Time (MBLT)

MBLT’s goal is to reinvent public education through more and better learning time, so that students in underserved communities are equitably prepared for college, career and civic participation. The initiative is grounded in the conviction that the traditional school calendar, with its six-and-a half-hour day and 180-day year, does not provide sufficient access to the range of opportunities all children need and deserve.  The initiative seeks to make more and better learning time the "new normal" in American education by matching the school day and year to the learning needs of students and the lives of working families. The foundation supports efforts to replicate what works, creating systems of schools that: 

  • Emphasize equitable conditions for, and access to, high-quality learning opportunities for all children, but especially those living in communities of concentrated poverty
  • Provide additional hours of academic instruction, a well-rounded 21st-century curriculum and more personalized learning relationships with adults
  • Integrate traditional schooling with after-school, out-of-school, and anytime/anywhere learning opportunities
  • Redesign how the work of students, teachers and community partners is organized