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We bring educational communities together, no matter their size

At LDC, we believe in the power of small learning communities to actualize large-scale change. In 2014, LDC was awarded a five-year Investing in Innovation (i3) grant from the U.S. Department of Education to provide support to approximately 100 schools in New York City and Los Angeles. The goal of this five-year effort is to provide students in two major cities with numerous opportunities to develop the enduring reading and writing skills that the College- and Career-Readiness literacy standards require in each discipline.

Small learning communities enacting large-scale change

The LDC i3 project focuses on growing a school or district’s capacity through teacher-building, not teacher-proofing. Through job-embedded professional development and the use of small, personalized professional learning communities (PLCs), teachers work collaboratively with coaches to build expertise in designing standards-driven, literacy-rich writing assignments within their existing curriculum across all content areas. By meeting teachers where they are, LDC works with districts to get to where they want to be.

In a survey of administrators participating in the LDC i3 project:


found LDC helped students’ overall literacy performance


reported LDC supported teachers in identifying necessary skills to complete the writing assignment


stated LDC supported teachers in creating standards-driven writing tasks

The LDC i3 project connects professional learning with the real work of the classroom, providing K–12 teachers with in-person and virtual support and an ongoing learning path for skill development—at no cost—for the 2016–17, 2017–18, and 2018–19 school years.

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Real change in real time

Direct Impact

After using LDC at her Bronx, NY high school, this college student shares how the writing skills she learned from LDC set her up for academic success in college.

LDC i3 in NYC: Test Scores on the Rise

Third-grade students in classrooms that implemented two or more LDC modules showed statistically significant growth on summative standardized tests. And, at i3 sites across NYC and LA, teacher evaluation results are increasing as a result of the LDC work.



“[T]his planning process has enabled teachers to dissect how they will scaffold and teach the skills students need to complete the writing assignment and to be more intentional with their assignments across classrooms in the grade level.” - LDC coach Karen Venditti

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“Students engaged in accountable talk by using the LDC-written Mini-Task with fidelity; students observed the fishbowl respectfully and provided feedback on positive observations. When moving to their groups, students immediately adopted their debate roles and shared their notes from their original brainstorm the prior class period. Students were highly engaged in the discussion and listened respectfully to classmates by allowing them to speak without interjection and use the sentence starter stems in the Mini-Task anchor chart." - Project liaison and social studies/ELA/special education teacher Katie McNelly

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"LDC has helped me develop weeklong modules that go deeper with a particular standard that the students are in need of more practice with. The LDC framework has encouraged me to ramp up the level of rigor in my literacy block where I now have much of my class immersed in the stages of close reading, writing to explain, and constructing models of their learning. I have implemented the framework three different times and feel more and more excited about it each week!" - Jennifer Barry, first-grade teacher

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