Infusion of capital by the Emerson Collective, Zuckerberg Education Ventures, and Omidyar Network will accelerate new product development focused on instruction and personalization.
Boston, MA - Ellevation kicks off 2016 with $6.4 million in funding to further its mission of supporting English Language Learners across the country. The co-investment, led by the Emerson Collective with participation from Zuckerberg Education Ventures, the Omidyar Network, and existing investors, will enable more educators to help students reach their highest aspirations.
English Language Learners (ELLs) are the fastest growing population of K-12 students in the United States, comprising over 10 percent of students in U.S. public schools. Historically, English Learners have lagged behind their English proficient peers. For example, in 2014 the national graduation rate reached 82 percent while the rate for ELLs was 62.6 percent.
Educators who work with ELLs are faced with ensuring that ELLs learn English, while simultaneously mastering rigorous content standards. District administrators, ELL specialists, and classroom teachers in districts across the country are struggling to meet these responsibilities, and have few tools designed to support their needs. Founded in 2011, Ellevation has built a suite of online management and instructional tools to help educators inform instruction, collaborate with their colleagues, and save a great deal of time.
“We are thrilled to have the support of mission-aligned investors that care deeply about helping ELLs achieve,” CEO and Co-Founder Jordan Meranus said. “The new funding will help Ellevation extend our reach to new school systems, support more educators in their work to personalize instruction, and deepen the instructional impact on students.”
Ellevation currently serves over 450 school districts and helps track progress for over 1.2 million ELL students. The inspiration for creating the product grew out of frustrations that many educators experience every day: a fast-growing population of ELLs, a widening achievement gap, overwhelming administrative burdens, communication obstacles, and a lack of tools to help. With the focus still rooted in the experience of educators, Ellevation develops tools that simplify administrative obligations, save time, and enable more effective instruction so that ELLs can thrive in school and beyond.
“Teachers that don’t understand second language acquisition don’t know how to meet the needs of English Learners,” said Vicky Saldala, Director of Bilingual/ESOL Department at Broward County Schools. “Ellevation’s tools provide the resources and support that teachers need.”
Elizabeth Crouch, Ellevation, Senior Marketing Manager, ElizabethC@ellevationeducation.com, 317-403-8601