The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is giving $56 million to create small model schools throughout the U.S., USA Today reported Sept. 7.
The grants – the first that the foundation has given to schools outside of Washington State — will support high-achieving districts, networks of schools and statewide coalitions with proven records of helping students achieve.
Grants have been awarded to two Rhode Island school districts, the Center for Collaborative Education in Boston and the Center for School Change at the University of Minnesota to study and promote the reduction of school and classroom size to enhance learning.
“A growing body of research shows that small schools have more success in raising retention rates, college acceptance and student motivation,” said foundation director Tom Vander Ark. “These groups have each shown a commitment to creating learning environments that work for all students.”