Arlington, Va. (April 13, 2016) — Founded in 2015 by the University of Virginia Curry School of Education, Jefferson Education announced today that it has received a major grant from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation to underwrite its efforts to support the nation's most promising edtech organizations by helping them expand the reach of their services and perform the type of efficacy research that school leaders need to make good decisions.
“Great teachers are the linchpin of student success – and technology can play a critical role in helping educators and school leaders scale great teaching and learning,” said Bart Epstein, Founding CEO of Jefferson Education. “We support more mature companies that want to succeed on the strength of their merit, in a world where too many companies get by on the sophistication of their sales and marketing,” says Epstein.
With funding from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Jefferson Education will identify and support seven companies over the next four years whose products are heavily used in urban schools – with a particular focus on products that most effectively enhance teachers’ use of complex data to support their classroom instruction.
“Educators face a difficult task in choosing the educational technology products that are most appropriate for their students,” said Cheryl Niehaus, Program Officer at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. “Jefferson Education’s work to generate evidence of effectiveness for companies that participate in its program is an exciting step towards creating the market transparency needed to make this task less daunting. We want to see more companies doing real research and more education institutions asking to see research as part of their procurement processes.”
Jefferson Education works with growth-stage education organizations, such as Agile Mind and Echo360 that are eager to demonstrate that their products and services drive measurable improvements in student achievement. In addition to guiding companies through the process of conducting efficacy research, Jefferson Education helps its portfolio organizations facilitate pilot programs with education institutions around the country, provides expertise and support related to scaling and operations, and assists with efforts to raise capital and identify strategic partners.
About Jefferson Education
Jefferson Education brings together the know-how, capital, and resources to address the unique needs of educators, entrepreneurs and organizations. Combining the unabashedly innovative spirit of education technology with the academic rigor and excellence of one of the nation’s top-ranked education programs, Jefferson Education identifies and evaluates the most promising education organizations in the U.S. and accelerates their growth, sustainability, and impact. For more information, visit www.jeauva.com.
About Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of children living in urban poverty around the world. With offices in Austin, TX and New Delhi, India, and Cape Town, South Africa, the Dell family foundation funds programs that foster high-quality public education and childhood health, and improve the economic stability of families living in poverty. The foundation has committed more than $1.2 billion to global children’s issues and community initiatives to date.