This week, Cisco will receive the National Partner in Innovation Award from MIND Research Institute, based in Southern California.
We are honored, but that’s not what is most important.
While many such awards are given annually by nonprofits to recognize their donors, this award actually acknowledges a decade-long partnership between Cisco and MIND to improve student math achievement.
Such a long-term funding relationship is rare; most giving spans at best three to five years. But MIND is rare, too. We have been supporting the organization this long because they have developed one of the best and most effective approaches to helping students learn math that we’ve ever seen, with rigorous and significant student outcome data to prove it.
Our introduction to MIND’s work was at one of their annual meetings, back when they were still serving a relatively small set of schools in their local region. Flying into Orange County, California, I recall remarking to a colleague that there had already been many unsuccessful attempts to technology-enable math learning, and I did not expect to see anything new at the conference.
I was never so happy to be proven wrong.