Key Points

This article explores findings from an evaluation of the Assessment for Learning Project, a grantee engagement strategy led by the Center for Innovation in Education focused on creating a learning community founded in continuous reflection and safety for risk-taking. The article shares the project’s model and approach, grounded in the core design elements of a field-facing learning agenda, grantmaking that leads with learning, and collective leadership.

This article highlights the Assessment for Learning Project’s practices, such as a Request for Learning rather than traditional Request for Proposals; a requirement that grantees provide formative feedback to each other; and public demonstrations of learning in lieu of traditional reporting. And it explores how the project’s design helps flip the script on expertise by encouraging grantees to draw on one another for support and how it promotes a culture of experimentation that deepens learning relationships.

Finally, this article points to the role of the project’s leadership team in modeling reflection and vulnerability, co-designing with grantees to bolster their leadership, and expanding its network by strategically connecting grantees to the broader field via a common learning agenda.

Open Access