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Dear Friends,

The Learning Accelerator was founded over three and a half years ago with the mission of being a catalyst for scaling blended learning. When we first started tackling this challenge there were pockets of early blended innovation, but efforts to support greater work across the nation were scattered. The progress since that time has been tremendous - many of the key enablers for scale have been catalyzed and are in the process of scaling. Multiple major funders are now very active, and several new organizations have brought significant incremental capital to the space. This is exciting and very promising for the future of blended learning.

At the same time, TLA's role has been and continues to be to address key barriers in the blended learning ecosystem while avoiding redundancy. As we track progress, we must continuously scrutinize our strategy and investment of capacity to make sure there is good alignment between the work we are doing and unmet needs. TLA will now move to the next phase of its work as a catalyst and coordinator, focusing on areas that still need attention and where TLA can add distinctive value for the blended learning ecosystem.

TLA Path Forward
We believe the greatest barrier, and unmet need, the sector now faces for transforming education at scale is the lack of clarity about exactly how blended learning happens in the classroom to enable personalization, data use, and competency-based progression. How do the student, the teacher, the software, and the data interact to bring blended learning to life? While we are seeing more examples of effective implementation as well as promising approaches, significant additional work is needed in this area to ensure all students benefit.

Given this, TLA's work moving forward will focus more sharply on the following areas:
  • TLA's Vision of Blended Learning : capturing specifically how teaching and learning change in blended environments, which will include deepening our efforts to identify key practices essential to creating blended learning classrooms with personalization, real-time data use, and competency-based progression.
  • Measurement : catalyzing rigorous measurement of blended learning, which will be critical to understanding impacts and effectiveness as the quality of implementation improves.
  • Human Capital : continuing to focus on how to provide effective supports and structures to help educators and leaders make the shift to blended learning.
  • Knowledge and Tool Dissemination : continuing to capture, codify, and broadly share our existing and future actionable and open knowledge to support blended efforts.
TLA Incubation Initiatives
TLA has successfully incubated efforts around Open Education Resources and edTech device procurement. We will continue to support the K-12 OER Collaborative and the Technology for Education Consortium moving forward. We also believe further work needs to be done to clarify exactly how competency-based learning works, particularly its definition, tools, and enablers for scale. This includes initial efforts to develop open source tools like MasteryTrack and Open Learning Objectives. We believe that this area of work requires dedicated leadership, focus, and innovation, and may eventually justify an independent organization in order to achieve impact at scale.

TLA Leadership Transitions
To address this next phase of our work, TLA will implement the following changes, effective immediately:
  • Scott Ellis, founding CEO of TLA, will transition to focus exclusively on the definition, scaling, and tools of competency-based education as a separate area of work within TLA. This entity will be incubated within TLA as Ellis determines a path forward for the work, similar to how TLA has incubated other new initiatives in the ecosystem. Ellis will remain on the TLA board.
  • Beth Rabbitt, current TLA partner and the leader of TLA's blended learning vision and human capital work, will be stepping into the role of CEO to lead the organization in its next phase.
We are excited about our organization's path forward and confident that our sharpened focus on the remaining challenges to advancing blended, personalized learning will help transform education for all of America's students. Thank you for your support.


Scott Ellis               Beth Rabbitt
Founding CEO       Incoming CEO 
Contact:
Michela Marini, Program Manager
i i nfo@learningaccelerator.org