With the global economy changing so quickly, high schools must become responsive places where students engage in real-world problem solving and learn to think flexibly, strategically, and innovatively.
EDC is pioneering 21st-century directions for secondary schools through Ford Next Generation Learning (Ford NGL). Ford NGL is transforming education in a national network of communities, ranging from small rural areas to large urban systems. EDC is also leading the design and management of professional learning for a national network of Powered by Ford STEM Academies, a sister initiative with additional support from Ford Motor Company and the United Auto Workers.
Ford NGL supports communities in preparing students through career academies, increased collaboration between schools and employer partners, and implementation of problem-based case learning (PBCL). For 15 years, EDC has worked with the Ford Motor Company Fund to achieve these goals. EDC experts designed the Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies (Ford PAS) curriculum and professional development, and they currently provide the following support:
- Serve on the Ford NGL National Team and Leadership Council and build capacity to sustain and scale systemic transformation of secondary schools
- Develop tools and resources to support:
- District and community transformation
- Strategic planning and implementation
- Spread and scale of community and district innovations
- PBCL, community partnerships, and work-based learning
- Performance assessment
- Professional learning communities
- Design thinking principles and processes for educators and leaders
- Design and provide professional development and technical assistance for educators, leaders, and business and community partners in virtual and face- to-face environments
- Support program evaluation and dissemination of results
- Ground transformation efforts in research-based best practices
- Provide STEM subject-matter expertise to inform curriculum development and assessment
Ford NGL communities have seen increases in high school graduation rates and reductions in drop-out rates, fewer absences and disciplinary actions for career academy students, better performances on AP and ACT exams and state tests by academy students, and increases in the percentage of students who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).