Non-profit

KnowledgeWorks Foundation

Website:

[email protected]

Location:

Cincinnatti, OH

Tax ID:

31-1321973

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2020):

Revenue: $6,852,398
Expenses: $17,137,967
Assets: $33,319,038

Type:

Non-profit

Formation:

1998

President & CEO:

William Hite

Board Chair:

Lizzette Gonzalez-Reynolds

The KnowledgeWorks Foundation is a nonprofit organization that promotes left-of-center public education policies involving the implementation of blockchain technologies into the public school system. The organization has advocated for the public education system to train students for a future dominated by automation, alleging that many of today’s jobs will no longer be available for future students. [1] The KnowledgeWorks Foundation has received grants from a number of high-profile organizations, including $7.4 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. [2]

Founded in 1998, the KnowledgeWorks Foundation originally focused on “personalizing” learning through an effort to break up large public high schools into smaller schools to provide closer interaction between students and teachers. [3]

Background

Chad Wick founded the KnowledgeWorks Foundation in 1998. [4] Wick was a former executive at a number of financial institutions who later worked as chair of education transition for former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland (D). [5]

The Foundation’s personalized learning initiatives include the use of blockchain technology to adapt education to individual student learning styles. The KnowledgeWorks Foundation has alleged that public schools operate with a “harmful” hierarchical structure and questioned “traditional definitions” of student success. The Foundation has furthered argued that such definitions of success may result in discriminatory biases against students who do not perform well in traditional academic settings. [6]

Leadership

Dr. William Hite, EdD is the current president and chief executive officer of KnowledgeWorks, a position he has held since his appointment in February 2022. [7] He was previously the superintendent of Philadelphia’s school district as well as the superintendent for the school district of Prince George County, Maryland. [8] Prior to Hite, Holly Brinkman served as interim president and CEO since the previous president Charles Ambrose resigned from the position in March 2021. As of October 2022 Brinkman is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and vice president of finance at FoundationWorks. [9] Between 2018-2021 Charles Ambrose worked as president/CEO of the nonprofit before resigning and taking up a new position as chancellor of Henderson State University in the state of Arkansas. [10]

Lizzette Gonzalez-Reynolds is the chair of the board of directors for KnoweldgeWorks Foundation. Reynolds also works as Vice President of Policy for the Foundation for Excellence in Education, whilst previously serving as Chief Deputy Commissioner for the Texas Education Agency (TEA). [11] In 2007, Gonzalez-Reynolds received attention as TEA acting deputy commissioner for statewide policy and programs after she made the controversial call to fire Christine Comer, then-director of science in the TEA curriculum division. Gonzalez-Reynolds called for her firing after Comer forwarded an email announcing a lecture by Barbara Forester, a critic of creationism. [12]

The KnowledgeWorks Foundation board also includes Brenda Shu, an affiliate of the left-of-center Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. [13]

Activism

The KnowledgeWorks Foundation promotes efforts to “personalize education” for students across the United States through promoting smaller classroom environments and nontraditional coursework. The Foundation also supports the creation of individually-paced curriculum for each student in the public school system on both a state and federal level. [14] The KnowledgeWorks Foundation has already partnered with a number of local learning communities across the United States to create these personalized educational plans. [15]

KnowledgeWorks completed its major project, “Map of Future Forces Affecting Education: 2006-2016,” in 2016. The map is the product of a decade-long collaboration with the left-of-center Institute for the Future (IFTF). [16] The project mapped the use of technology in educational spaces to argue for increasing the use of technology in classrooms. [17]

The KnowledgeWorks Foundation also subscribes to a left-of-center approach to racial theory, describing itself as “an organization of privilege.” KnowledgeWorks endorses the idea that the American education system is built on “systemic racism and white supremacy.” [18]

References

  1. “Automation and the Uncertainty of Work.” KnowledgeWorks, 19 Nov. 2015, knowledgeworks.org/resources/uncertainty-of-work/    ^
  2. KnowledgeWorks Foundation, “Grants,” Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, https://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/2013/07/OPP1093433, Accessed August 3, 2020. ^
  3. History, KnowledgeWorks, https://knowledgeworks.org/about/history/, Accessed August 4, 2020. ^
  4. Chad Wick, LinkedIn,  https://www.linkedin.com/in/chad-wick-5b5ab67, Accessed August 4, 2020. ^
  5. State Policy Framework for Personalized Learning, KnowledgeWorks Foundation, https://knowledgeworks.org/get-empowered/policy-resources/state-policy-framework-personalized-learning/, 2019, Accessed August 4, 2020.[/note]

    The KnowledgeWorks Foundation initially focused on the Ohio public school system but has since evolved to promote educational policy initiatives across the United States. The Foundation has developed interactive maps of “personalized learning” across the country, as well as maps of policy initiatives. The initiative maps encourage policymakers to take action to break up large urban high schools into smaller institutions. [note]State Policy Framework for Personalized Learning, KnowledgeWorks Foundation, https://knowledgeworks.org/get-empowered/policy-resources/state-policy-framework-personalized-learning/, 2019, Accessed August 4, 2020. ^

  6. King, Katie, et al. “Learning on the Block: Could Smart Transactional Models Help Power Personalized Learning?” KnowledgeWorks, 28 June 2016, knowledgeworks.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/blockchain-personalized-learning.pdf. ^
  7. Cieslewicz, Bill. “Education development nonprofit names new CEO-president.” Cincinatti Business Courier, February 1, 2022. https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2022/02/01/education-development-nonprofit-names-new-ceo-pres.html ^
  8. “William Hitem EdD.” KnowledgeWorks. Accessed October 27, 2022. https://knowledgeworks.org/team-member/william-hite-edd/ ^
  9. [note] Cieslewicz, Bill. “Education development nonprofit names new CEO-president.” Cincinatti Business Courier, February 1, 2022. https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2022/02/01/education-development-nonprofit-names-new-ceo-pres.html ^
  10. Adame, Jamie. “Ambrose picked to lead Henderson State University; new chancellor brings presidential experience.” Arkansas Democrat Gazette, November 2, 2021. https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2021/nov/02/top-leader-henderson-state-brings-presidential-exp/ ^
  11. “Lizzette Gonzalez Reynolds.” KnowledgeWorks Foundation, Accessed October 22, 2022. https://knowledgeworks.org/board-member/lizzette-reynolds/  ^
  12. Kunzelman, Michael. “Firing over Creationism e-Mail Leads to Appeal.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 27 Apr. 2010, www.nbcnews.com/id/36790949/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/firing-over-creationism-e-mail-leads-appeal/. ^
  13. Guidstar, KnowledgeWorks, https://www.guidestar.org/profile/31-1321973, Accessed August 5, 2020. ^
  14. Kuhlmann, Jillian. “The Role of the Teacher in a Personalized, Competency-Based Classroom.” KnowledgeWorks, 9 Feb. 2018, knowledgeworks.org/resources/role-teacher-personalized-competency-based-classroom/. ^
  15. Guidstar, KnowledgeWorks, https://www.guidestar.org/profile/31-1321973, Accessed August 5, 2020. ^
  16. Philanthropy Daily DIgest, “KnowledgeWorks Foundation”, https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/on-the-web/knowledgeworks-foundation, July 24, 2007, Accessed, August 4, 2020. ^
  17. Edublogs..com, Evan McIntosh, August 16, 2007, “Map of Future Forces Affecting Education”, https://edu.blogs.com/edublogs/2007/08/map-of-future-f.html, Accessed August 4, 2020. ^
  18. Home, KnowledgeWorks.com, https://knowledgeworks.org, Accessed August 4, 2020. ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: June 1, 1991

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2020 Jun Form 990 $6,852,398 $17,137,967 $33,319,038 $28,975,896 N $3,779,761 $2,915,069 $50,499 $1,587,483 PDF
    2019 Jun Form 990 $11,590,432 $14,367,516 $38,932,222 $31,554,588 Y $8,698,619 $2,676,845 $83,377 $1,443,289 PDF
    2018 Jun Form 990 $5,671,112 $13,825,865 $39,292,997 $36,604,092 Y $2,539,567 $2,838,954 $87,713 $1,788,536 PDF
    2017 Jun Form 990 $13,389,178 $27,416,929 $43,162,817 $41,769,393 N $9,327,202 $3,787,735 $45,970 $1,826,308 PDF
    2016 Jun Form 990 $8,847,580 $20,231,025 $51,839,226 $47,074,366 N $3,941,377 $4,684,727 $1,804 $2,342,093
    2015 Jun Form 990 $14,313,374 $23,843,958 $59,216,238 $51,648,558 N $5,783,443 $8,264,397 $2,071 $2,291,793 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $21,302,201 $30,981,502 $68,738,117 $61,558,783 N $5,645,802 $15,375,892 $5,181 $2,713,128 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $24,112,061 $35,343,815 $151,983,301 $137,033,370 N $3,460,775 $19,928,001 $338 $3,392,639 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990 $24,452,880 $32,484,973 $180,038,043 $165,577,592 N $4,461,731 $18,722,514 $849 $3,012,197 PDF
    2011 Jun Form 990 $21,897,019 $32,051,813 $190,763,496 $181,739,515 N $4,896,566 $16,784,618 $2,569 $2,757,696 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    KnowledgeWorks Foundation

    1 West 4th Street, Suite 200
    Cincinnatti, OH 45202