Ranked Nonprofits: National Education 2014

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Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. - Nelson Mandela
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. - Nelson Mandela

The Cause: The US has a high reading literacy rate at 98% of the population over age 15, but ranks below average in science and mathematics understanding compared to other developed countries. In 2008, there was a 77% graduation rate from high school, which was below that of most developed countries. The good news is that a lot of talent at the local, state, and national level has been focused on improving the public K-12 school system as well as the higher education system in this country.

The Scope: National education experts were asked to recommend nonprofits working on literacy, school readiness, school reform, the achievement gap, human capital, instructional improvement, curricular content development, low-performing schools turnarounds, data, standards and assessments, after school programming, summer programming, and parental involvement, at the early education through secondary education level. Types of nonprofits could include research, policy, advocacy, training, traditional nonprofits or community based organizations, the traditional after-school kind of nonprofits/CBOs, or even the public/charter schools themselves. We did not consider nonprofits specifically focused on higher education.


70 National Education experts recommended the following 16 outstanding nonprofits.
Meet the experts and read more about this research.


Top Nonprofit Mission
1 Medal-small-2014 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life.
2 Medal-small-2014 Kipp
Since our founding, it has been our core belief that all students, regardless of their zip code or demographics, will learn and achieve. We are committed to serving the students who need us most and refuse to accept anything less than an excellent college-preparatory education for students from low-income communities. - See more at: http://www.kipp.org/about-kipp#sthash.Vfh4NmSb.dpuf
3 Medal-small-2014 Teach for America
Teach For America's mission is to build the movement to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting our nation's most promising future leaders in the effort. We do this by building a corps of outstanding recent college graduates of all academic majors who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in ensuring educational excellence for all children.
4 Medal-small-2014 The New Teacher Project
The New Teacher Project’s mission is to end the injustice of educational inequality by providing excellent teachers to the students who need them most and by advancing policies and practices that ensure effective teaching in every classroom.
5 Medal-small-2014 The Education Trust
The Education Trust promotes high academic achievement for all students at all levels—pre-kindergarten through college. Our goal is to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement that consign far too many young people—especially those from low-income families or who are black, Latino, or American Indian—to lives on the margins of the American mainstream.
6 Medal-small-2014 Khan Academy
Khan Academy is an organization on a mission. We're a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere.
7 Medal-small-2014 New Teacher Center
New Teacher Center (NTC) is a national non-profit dedicated to improving student learning by accelerating the effectiveness of new teachers and school leaders. NTC works with schools districts, state policymakers, and educators across the country to develop and implement induction programs aligned with district learning goals. NTC induction programs include one-on-one mentoring and professional development, all taking place within school environments that support new teachers.
8 Medal-small-2014 The Thomas B Fordham Foundation
The Thomas B. Fordham Institute is the nation's leader in advancing educational excellence for every child through quality research, analysis, and commentary, as well as on-the-ground action and advocacy in Ohio.
9 Medal-small-2014 Green Dot Public Schools
Green Dot’s mission is to transform public education in Los Angeles and beyond so every student can graduate prepared for college, leadership and life.
10 Medal-small-2014 Children'S Defense Fund
The Children’s Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.

CDF provides a strong, effective and independent voice for all the children of America who cannot vote, lobby or speak for themselves. We pay particular attention to the needs of poor and minority children and those with disabilities. CDF educates the nation about the needs of children and encourages preventive investments before they get sick, drop out of school, get into trouble or suffer family breakdown.

11 Medal-small-2014 Rocketship Education
Rocketship Education is a network of public elementary charter schools serving primarily low-income students in neighborhoods where access to excellent schools is limited.  We believe that truly transformative schools do more than educate students; they empower teachers, engage parents and inspire communities. Together, we can eliminate the achievement gap in our lifetime.
12 Medal-small-2014 Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL)
CASEL's mission is to help make evidence-based social and emotional learning an integral part of education from preschool through high school. Through research, practice and policy, CASEL collaborates to ensure all students become knowledgeable, responsible, caring and contributing members of society.
13 Medal-small-2014 Stand for Children
Stand for Children's mission is to ensure that all children, regardless of their background, graduate from high school prepared for, and with access to, a college education. 
13 Medal-small-2014 Achieve
Achieve is leading the effort to make college and career readiness a national priority so that the transition from high school graduation to postsecondary education and careers is seamless. 
14 Medal-small-2014 City Year
City Year’s mission is to build democracy through citizen service, civic leadership and social entrepreneurship. It is through service that we can demonstrate the power and idealism of young people, engage citizens to benefit the common good, and develop young leaders of the next generation.

City Year is wholly focused on fighting the national dropout crisis. City Year unites young individuals (corps members) age 17-24 from diverse ethnic, educational and socio-economic backgrounds to engage in a year of full-time service, leadership development and civic engagement. We have committed to leverage the talent, energy and idealism of corps members to serve as tutors, mentors and role models in schools to help students stay on track – and get back on track – to graduate high school.

15 Medal-small-2014 George Lucas Educational Foundation
GLEF is dedicated to improving the K-12 learning process through innovative, replicable, and evidence-based strategies that prepare students to thrive in their studies, careers, and adult lives.


Check out all nonprofit reviews for National Education.

Have questions about these results? Review our methodology.





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Through independent research, Philanthropedia has leveraged the wisdom of 3121 experts to provide reviews on 767 top nonprofits across 47 causes.