Investing in Community Learning Ecosystems

Author: Gregg Behr


Developed during a different industrial era, today’s education system was never designed to meet modern learners’ needs. This incongruity has heaped systemic problems upon individual educators, blunted the effectiveness of reforms, and shortchanged the nation’s most vulnerable young people — outcomes exposed and exacerbated by COVID-19. Building back better in a post-pandemic United States will require federal investments not only in schools, but in “learning ecosystems” that leverage and connect the assets of entire communities. Tasked with studying, seeding, and scaling these ecosystems in communities across the country, a White House Initiative on Community Learning Ecosystems would signal a shift toward a new education model, positioning the United States as a global leader in learning.

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About the Author

Photo of Dr. Geoffrey Ling

Gregg Behr is the founder and co-chair of Remake Learning, an internationally acclaimed ecosystem of educators, scientists, artists, and makers working to ignite children’s curiosity, encourage creativity, and foster justice and belonging in Pittsburgh-area schools, libraries, museums, and more. An advisor to the Brookings Institution and the Fred Rogers Center, Behr directs The Grable Foundation, a Pittsburgh-based philanthropy dedicated to improving the lives of children. He is the co-author of When You Wonder, You’re Learning: Mister Rogers’ Enduring Lessons for Raising Creative, Curious, Caring Kids, forthcoming from Hachette in April 2021.