Request for Proposal on Networks for School Improvement

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Request for Proposal on Networks for School Improvement

Guided by the belief that all lives have equal value, and that all students—especially Black, Latino, and low-income students—must have equal access to a great public education that prepares them for adulthood, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is excited to announce this Request for Proposal (RFP) to fund Networks for School Improvement (NSI).

An NSI is a group of secondary schools working in partnership with an Intermediary organization to use a continuous improvement process to significantly increase the number of Black, Latino, and low-income students who earn a high school diploma, enroll in a postsecondary institution, and are on track in their first year to earn a credential with labor-market value. Secondary school teams work collaboratively to identify, test, and refine solutions that target a problem and reach an aim common across the network. An NSI’s aim is to improve outcomes that are predictive of high school graduation and postsecondary success.

Last fall, we issued a Request for Information (RFI) to learn from Intermediaries and secondary schools about the work they have done, or would like to do, related to using continuous improvement methods to improve outcomes for Black, Latino, and low-income students. The 278 responses we received shaped and informed this RFP. You can learn about our key takeaways from the RFI here and during our webinars.

We received over 180 questions from participants during our webinars, in addition to the questions that are coming in to our inbox every day. We are working on updating our FAQs with general themes and questions as they arise.

Watch the webinar recording from January 17th, 2018, 12:00 pm PST  | Topic: Overview of the RFI process and what we’ve learned from the field.

Watch the webinar recording from January 26th, 2018, 11:00 am PST | Topic: Overview of the RFP Measurement, Learning, and Evaluation process.

Over the next several years, the foundation intends to release multiple RFPs for applications to lead NSIs. This is the first of those opportunities, and we are soliciting applications only from Intermediaries at this stage. Grants will be made directly to Intermediaries.

NSIs are one initiative of the foundation’s US education work. We encourage you to explore other components of the K-12 U.S. education strategy.

Please contact with any questions.

Additional RFP Resources

RFP Grantmaking Guidelines

A set of guidelines to inform responses to the RFP on Networks for School Improvement.


Questions? Please read the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information on the RFP process.

RFP Glossary

A glossary to clarify terms that we may use differently in this RFP from how they are commonly used in the field.