U.S. Department of Education Announces First Ever Skills for Success Grants and Initiative to Support Learning Mindsets and Skills

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U.S. Department of Education Announces First Ever Skills for Success Grants and Initiative to Support Learning Mindsets and Skills

October 14, 2015

The U.S. Department of Education announced four grant awards today under the new Skills for Success grant competition, totaling $2 million. The Department also announced the launch of the Mentoring Mindsets Initiative, a partnership with City Year, MENTOR, Stanford University's PERTS Lab and the Raikes Foundation to pilot evidence-based tools that enable mentors to teach learning mindsets and skills to their mentees. Together, these initiatives are promoting new approaches to meeting the Administration's college and career readiness goals.

"As a former high school teacher and middle school principal, I saw firsthand the importance of teaching students learning mindsets and skills," said John King, senior advisor delegated the duties of deputy secretary. "These skills can help all students become college- and career-ready, and these initiatives will empower educators with tools and strategies they need to lead this important work."

The Skills for Success grantees will serve more than 10,000 students over three years in the Chicago Public Schools, KIPP Houston Public Schools, Long Beach Unified School District and Los Angeles Unified School District. Their projects will explore and refine an array of approaches to help educators enhance students' learning mindsets and skills, including strengthening parent engagement and expanding science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) coursework.

The Mentoring Mindsets Initiative partner organizations will adapt PERTS' growth mindset toolkit, so that local and national mentoring organizations can better leverage evidence-based learning mindset tools that help mentors amplify their impact. The grantees and Mentoring Mindsets Initiative will also expand the sector's collective knowledge about effective practices, and build on over $100 million invested in social and behavioral applied research by the Department's Institute of Education Sciences.

Learning mindsets and skills encompass a broad array of competencies, and are often referred to as non-cognitive skills, social and emotional learning or character education. Although enhancing these skills is not a standalone strategy for improving schools, there is a growing body of research indicating that learning mindsets play a key role in students' long-term success. Recognizing the importance of these skills, the Department has sought to increase investments in learning mindsets and skills, and identified them as a key college and career readiness strategy in President Obama's My Brother's Keeper initiative.

To learn more about Skills for Success, visit: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/skillssuccess/index.html

Grantee Name Year 1 Funding
Chicago Public Schools $397,725
KIPP, Inc. (KIPP Houston Public Schools) $500,000
Long Beach Unified School District $511,754
Los Angeles Unified School District $584,413
Total $1,993,892