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Scaling Up, Staying True

A Wallace Conference Report on Spreading Innovations in Expanded Learning

Wallace grantees, researchers, and others gather to discuss how expanded learning nonprofits can scale up while maintaining program quality and financial stability.
April 2014
A female teacher standing over 2 young female mixed race elementary school students, one writing with a pencil
  • Author(s)
  • Daniel Browne
  • Publisher(s)
  • The Wallace Foundation
Page Count 14 pages


How can national nonprofits provide learning opportunities to as many children as possible while maintaining program quality and financial stability? 

It’s a question much on the mind of people in the expanded learning field. In November 2013, Wallace’s expanded learning grantees gathered in Brooklyn, N.Y., along with researchers, experts in nonprofit strategy, communications professionals and foundation staff members to talk about the challenge of “scaling up” both effectively and responsibly. This report captures the resulting lively discussion. It features conference participants speaking in their own words about doing “the jujitsu” that turns a small innovation into a large-scale solution; avoiding the “sugar high” of too-rapid expansion; providing children with the educational equivalent of “a hand-tailored suit” rather than one-size-fits-all programming; and “supporting the ‘What Works Movement,’” a reference to the Obama administration’s strategy of investing in nonprofits that have shown they can deliver positive results.

The report also describes communications efforts intended to establish the need for expanded learning opportunities as well the results of a project to determine what it means for an expanded learning program to be aligned with the Common Core State Standards.

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