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New education for free or a fee

How much do schools have to pay for deeper learning?

Deeper learning doesn’t have to be expensive, says Stephanie Wood-Garnett, vice president of policy to practice at the Alliance for Excellent Education, a national advocacy group for at-risk students.

“Deeper learning is not about buying things, but deeper learning done well could allow us to think more effectively or differently on how to enhance the time we have,” Wood-Garnett says.

Many deeper learning resources are available free on a website maintained by the Alliance for Excellent Education at www.deeperlearning4all.org and on the Hewlett Foundation’s website, www.hewlett.org/strategy/deeper-learning.

In concert with the Harvard Graduate School of Education, EL Education provides hundreds of examples of high quality, pre-K through 12 work in the resources section of its website:  www.eleducation.org.  EL Learning also offers its curriculum for free.

About 50 videos focusing on Deeper Learning Network schools are available on the Teaching Channel website, www.teachingchannel.org/deeper-learning-video-series. 

Professional services for whole-school change can cost thousands of dollars. New Tech Network fees run about $100,000 to $125,000 a year—including a learning management system—for four years for a high school of about 400 to 600 students, says Lydia Dobyns, the organization’s president and CEO. 

At EL Education, schools typically pay about $50,000 per year for five years for services. The price can rise for struggling schools or drop for more established schools, chief academic officer Ron Berger says. 

EdVisions charges $150,000 for a three-year contract for the program that emphasizes self-directed, project-based learning, co-director Steven Rippe says. EdVisions focuses on schools with 300 students or less, and will work with multiple schools on the same campus. 

Coaching services can also be purchased on a daily basis from some organizations.

School Retool, an initiative that includes Stanford University’s design school, charges $50,000 for a cohort of 20 school leaders to attend brainstorming sessions where they discuss their needs and design small changes, called “hacks,” to expand deeper learning.

Philanthropy in the home district often covers each leader’s $2,500 fee, says Susie Wise, director of the K12 Lab Network at the design school. 

The deeper learning community has been expanding. One of the original network members, High Tech High in San Diego, hosts an annual deeper learning conference—sponsored by Hewlett—for hundreds of educators from the network and elsewhere.