Executive Insights: Remake Learning on igniting educational success across the region

September 08, 2023

How the Western Pennsylvania AASA Learning 2025 Alliance — in partnership with Remake Learning — is bringing families, community organizations and innovative school districts together to create a new learning landscape

The following is an article from the Pittsburgh Business Times

When it comes to learning, you could say some kids in Western Pennsylvania have never had it better.

And you’d be right, thanks to a dedicated alliance of 34 local school districts working to explore new, life-changing learning experiences for children. Together, these programs have put a national spotlight on the Pittsburgh region as a model of successful public-private education partnership -— one that leans heavily on the collective efforts of educators, parents, neighborhood groups and businesses.

“It’s a fantastic story, but it’s a story that takes us back to the pandemic — a place none of us want to go,” said Gregg Behr, executive director of The Grable Foundation; chair of Remake Learning; and a champion of what emerged from that “story” as the Western Pennsylvania Learning 2025 Alliance.

Behr recently detailed the Alliance’s successes as part of an Executive Insights video series, created in partnership with the Pittsburgh Business Times. The Alliance, as well as the many programs emerging from it, have been funded by the Pittsburgh-based Grable Foundation, together with Remake Learning.

Now, back to the pandemic for a moment.

The birth of an educational alliance
“We were all anxious as parents,” Behr recalled. And parents weren’t alone: School leaders were anxious, too, charged with finding new ways to manage schedules, feed students and keep their school communities safe.

Such anxiety led some of those leaders to imagine education beyond the pandemic. And it was at that moment that AASA, The School Superintendents Association, released a report detailing a new vision for the nation’s school system — one that, by 2025, “would be more future-driven [and] more learner-centered,” said Behr.

That’s when the idea of the Western Pennsylvania Learning 2025 Alliance was born.

“We turned to school leaders across Western Pennsylvania and said, ‘You know, as you’re dealing with all these challenges, all of these hardships right in front of you, who among you wants to do this work?’” said Behr of regional discussions with local school leaders about AASA’s Learning 2025 report.

More than 30 school leaders raised their hands. The cohort then served as the catalyst for a growing series of initiatives that would be undertaken by districts within the alliance, together or individually, to explore new learning opportunities. The Grable Foundation provided grant funding for many of those initiatives, which the districts tested and documented as part of the Alliance’s mission.

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Daniel Bates, freelance writer for the Pittsburgh Business Times