RELEASE: CAP and the Fordham Institute Launch ‘Moonshot for Kids’ Initiative to Improve Outcomes for America’s Youth

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress and the Fordham Institute announced a joint, yearlong “Moonshot for Kids” project to gather ideas for new research and development investments. For years, education outcomes for America’s children have been stagnant as other countries have realized significant gains among their own youth. This new venture, supported by Schmidt Futures, will solicit new, evidence-backed proposals to substantially improve outcomes.

The initiative will have three primary components, including:

  • Publishing research and commentary on the history of federal research and development efforts related to children and schooling
  • Launching a competition to identify the best big, bold ideas that could change child outcomes at scale and that could demonstrate the sorts of innovations that such a substantial new investment could support
  • Developing a policy proposal for a new “Moonshot for Kids,” intended to garner bipartisan interest at the federal level but also be amenable to large-scale philanthropy

“Improving outcomes among America’s youth is critical for narrowing disparities based on race and income, ensuring the strength of our workforce, and remaining globally competitive,” said Scott Sargrad, vice president of K-12 Education Policy at CAP. “It’s past time for us to think big again and help our kids who are falling behind, which is why we’re excited to launch this important project.”

“The United States will only make significant gains in real outcomes if it deploys bold, new—sizable and scalable—evidence-based approaches that build on the best ideas from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors,” said Michael Petrilli, president of the Fordham Institute.

Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative, founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, that bets early on people who will make our world better—helping people achieve more for others by applying advanced science and technology thoughtfully and by working together across fields. To realize this vision, Schmidt Futures uses a broad set of tools—including gifts, grants, investments, and startup activity—for charitable, educational, and commercial efforts with a public purpose. Learn more here.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at or 202.741.6292.