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NewSchools Venture Fund: EF+Math Program – Prototyping Track

Deadline: December 11, 2019

The EF+Math Program funds and supports teams to develop innovative, effective approaches to significantly improve math outcomes for students in grades 3-8 in historically under-resourced schools by embedding executive function (EF) training into high-quality math learning. The EF+Math Program is different from typical education funding programs; awards will be contracts, not grants, made to multi-disciplinary teams of experts in executive function, math, and educational equity research, who are coming together to pursue the goal of developing, testing, and refining approaches that blend high-quality math content and instruction with activities that build EF capacity during math learning. These teams will work in partnership with educators to ensure solutions are designed to be useful, usable, equitable, and effective. The EF+Math Program Director and Deputy Director will be substantially involved in the scientific and programmatic decision-making aspects of each funded project. Representatives of the EF+Math Program team will also provide technical assistance to program teams to enhance work products. The program will require a high degree of collaboration between awardees and program staff, among awardees, and between awardees and school district partners to rapidly iterate on solutions through an inclusive research and development approach. The EF+Math Program values diversity, equity, and inclusion in every component of its work. Strong teams will represent the racial, ethnic, and gender balance of the students the program serves.

EF+Math Program Prototyping Track teams will design and develop teacher- and student-centered learning systems that embed EF training within high-quality math content and instruction, with a specific focus on increasing students’ conceptual understanding and multi-step problem-solving skills in math. NewSchools is intentionally open-ended in describing what a prototype ‘learning system’ might comprise, as it aims to solicit the most innovative, bold ideas from the field.

The Prototyping Track consists of two paths:

  • Integrate Path – Under the Integrate Path, awardees of the EF+Math Program will modify existing math programs/products to include integrated EF training. The proposer must already have an existing math program or product that can, at a minimum, provide a supplement to instruction on at least two to three important topics in a grade level, covering a meaningful duration of time and scope of math.
  • Build Path – Under the Build Path, awardees of the EF+Math Program will build a new math learning system that addresses the stated program objectives. The proposed approach can be entirely novel or in early stages of development, either within an academic setting or by an existing math program/product provider.

Amount: Dependent upon funding path, as follows:

  • Integrate Path – Approximately $3,000,000 is available to make 2-4 awards.
  • Build Path – Approximately $12,000,000 is available to make 2-4 awards.

At the end of each phase, the Director and Deputy Director will assess the entire program and determine whether continued funding will advance the larger program objectives. Thus performance, in the context of advancing overall program objectives, will unlock subsequent funding at the end of each phase.

Eligibility: Multi-disciplinary teams of experts in executive function, math, and educational equity research.

Link: https://www.efmathprogram.org/

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