Stanford, California - The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, an independent research and policy organization based in Stanford, CA, has received a $460,000 grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to support research on the Carnegie Unit and its role—past, present, and future—in American education.
Created by the Carnegie Foundation in 1906 to raise academic expectations in
secondary and post-secondary education, the now century-old Carnegie Unit
continues to serve as the de facto standard for measuring student progress
toward high school graduation and through college. Though the time-based
Carnegie Unit was not intended to measure, inform or improve the quality of
teaching or learning, it became and still remains the near-universal metric for
student attainment across our nation’s secondary and higher education systems.
But as expectations for schools and students have risen dramatically and
technology has revealed the potential of personalized learning, the Carnegie
Foundation now believes it is time to consider how a revised unit, based on
competency rather than time, could improve teaching and learning in high
schools, colleges, and universities.
The Foundation is excited to lead a program of research and analysis that will
lay the groundwork for a potential redesign of the Carnegie Unit. The project
will include substantial input from a range of stakeholders and will culminate
in the release of a report that analyzes the value of the Carnegie Unit in
today’s educational context and examines the potential consequences of creating
a new unit of learning.
Thomas Toch, a Carnegie
senior managing partner, and Elena Silva, a senior
associate for research and policy, will lead this project from the Carnegie
Foundation’s Washington, DC, office. For more information about the program and
the Carnegie Foundation please contact Gay Clyburn, associate
vice-president for public affairs and continuing programs, at email@example.com or