David Andrews, long-time education innovator, joins the National Laboratory for Education Transformation (NLET) as its second president. Andrews replaces founder Gordon Freedman who established NLET ten years ago as an education nonprofit focused on improving promising innovations in teaching and learning.
“We are honored that David Andrews will bring his education leadership and commitment to equity to NLET’s mission to make real the promise of education access linked to employment and higher education outcomes for every learner,” said Francisco Hernandez, NLET board chair and former Vice Chancellor of the University of California Santa Cruz and the University of Hawaii.
Andrews also serves as the Chief Academic Officer for Versidi, a Bertelsmann Education Group company. Prior to his recent appointment with Versidi, he spent the last five years as the President of National University, an open access private nonprofit, primarily adult-serving, institution in San Diego, CA. At National University, Andrews established the Precision Institute, which pioneered the personalization of competency-based education through an innovative culture-changing technology and data platform. “Our goal was to reach every learner where they are and to support those learners personally to achieve their goals,” says Andrews.
Prior to National University, Dr. Andrews was Dean of Education at Johns Hopkins University and before that Dean of Education and Human Ecology at Ohio State University. “What prompted my interest in nonprofit leadership,” says Andrews, “was the ability to try to make change happen from outside the traditional institution. I am fundamentally interested in moving from a model of measuring institutions by how well they sort students to gain success to a model where institutions are measured and valued by how well they support all their learners.”
The National Laboratory for Education Transformation sees an important role to be played post-COVID-19 by providing students and adult learners with multiple pathways through their various educational and employment opportunities. “Understanding that the worlds of education and training and employment are no longer static or fixed requires an ability to work beyond traditional improvement and innovation models to actual transformation,” says Gordon Freedman about the next phase of NLET. “NLET does this by guiding promising innovations from pilot to practice to policy.”
Since its founding in 2011, NLET has had a variety of partnerships that led to funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in math, the National Institutes of Science and Technology (NIST) in privacy, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and private foundations in workforce development data and skills-based credentials. In 2020, National University funded NLET to pilot the Precision Institute’s competency-based models in mathematics for equity programs in middle and high school and to pioneer competency-based corequisite math programs to replace developmental math in community college programs.
“The COVID-19 pandemic revealed that responsible, equitable innovation in the education system tailored to each unique learner is needed more urgently than ever before,” said Andrews. “Going forward, we will focus primarily on supporting learners through customized access to on demand support and feedback, meeting them where they are. We will also focus on credentialing learners through an equity lens that reflects the individual capabilities and interests of each learner.”
About the National Laboratory for Education Transformation
The National Laboratory for Education Transformation, www.NLET.org, is a California-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop and support student-centric learning and career outcomes. NLET’s methodology is to move education and training from a primary focus on improvement and innovation towards transformation of culture, especially the adoption of equity, inclusion, and opportunity. Reports published by NLET can be found at www.NLET.org/reports.
NLET to reorganize under Andrews’ leadership with a primary focus on supporting and credentialing learners equitably in a post-COVID-19 world.