Pivot Learning agrees to a merger with plans to grow nationwide
Pivot Learning, an Oakland-based national nonprofit that works with over 100 California districts on improving classroom instruction in literacy and math, announced this week it is merging with UnboundEd, a national nonprofit that does complementary school improvement work.
The merger, which will operate under the UnboundEd name, will become “the largest K-12 educator development organization in the country with an explicit focus on equity in teaching and learning for underserved students,” Pivot and UnboundEd said in a joint release. Lacey Robinson, UnboundEd’s CEO, will become the new organization’s CEO. Arun Ramanathan, Pivot’s CEO will become a senior adviser helping to oversee the transition.
No jobs will be cut among Pivot’s 50 full-time employees and several hundred part-time teacher coaches located across the nation, Ramanathan said. Instead, he foresees “rapid growth and deepening impact” of the new organization.
“I’m excited at the prospect of being able to scale up and share the work we have been doing,” he said with the goal 300,000 teachers and leaders in districts serving over five million students in all 50 states.
CORE Learning, the reading and math professional development subsidiary of Pivot Learning, will continue with the new UnboundEd.
Pivot Learning’s focus has been improving literacy and math results, especially in high need schools and communities. Its partnerships include the Sacramento Office of Education’s work improving early literacy of the 72 schools selected for improvement under a settlement in the Ella T vs the State of California lawsuit brought by Public Counsel.
Ramanathan said Pivot Learning and UnboundEd have been discussing combining over the past year, and growing inequalities during the pandemic heightened the interest. The two organizations first worked together in Stockton Unified.
UnboundEd provided with Stockton’s teachers and administrators with five days of immersive training in literacy and math instruction during its national Standards Institute; Pivot followed up with district and school-level professional development and curriculum implementation support. The combination served as a model for the two organizations’ collaboration and a catalyst for the merger, Ramanathan said.