California is at an important inflection point in an era of local control and new standards. With local accountability, California’s systems are evolving to be more coherent, sustainable, and able to improve the communities they serve with a focus on equity. This moment in time marks an opportunity to support those systems to improve as they work in closer partnership with educators and students to deepen their skills and knowledge aligned to the new academic standards (Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards). Only by working with and within traditional systems can we improve outcomes for the majority of students in California. Furthermore, we believe that high quality implementation of the California State Content Standards (including the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards) is a key lever to preparing all California children to succeed in and strengthen our global society.
In 2016, the Silver Giving Foundation launched the first round of grantmaking to support early-stage (in operation less than 3 years) organizations and established organizations with early-stage programs that are addressing the systemic shifts that drive Standards-aligned instruction at the classroom level. Shifting to the new Standards is a significant and time-intensive endeavor, and we seek to support organizations and programs that are working in partnership with traditional school districts, schools, leaders and teachers in California to provide more sustained, meaningful and evidence-based support for educators to understand and master the Standards. Priority is placed on organizations and programs that are building internal capacity of those systems, rather than providing services that cannot be sustained by the systems over time.