About Education First

Who we are

Education First is a national, mission-driven strategy and policy organization with unique and deep expertise in education improvement.

Our mission is to deliver exceptional ideas, experience-based solutions and results so all students — particularly Black, Indigenous and other students of color and students living in low-income communities — are prepared for success in college, career and life.

We envision a world in which every student is prepared to succeed — a world in which income and race no longer determine the quality of education.

We believe students, educators and families need to have different experiences in schooling — experiences that can only happen in equitable, inclusive and coherent education systems.

Our mission is lived through our solutions and strategies by working with funders, states, policymakers, nonprofits, local education agencies and more.

Explore Education First

Each day we demand excellence from ourselves so that our contributions to our clients and the field result in sustainable progress in classrooms, schools and school systems.

How we work — our core values:

Achieve excellence

We set the standard for expert advice, new insights and quality solutions with our clients and the students and communities they serve.

Advance racial equity

We boldly advance a race equity culture as individuals and as Education First. We help education leaders create the conditions for equitable, inclusive and coherent public education systems.

Center people

We believe together we can solve any problem if we collaborate with our clients to put the needs and ideas of people closest to the problem at the center.

Embrace growth

We operate with curiosity and embrace new ideas to innovate and constantly improve. We take informed risks and learn from setbacks, successes and each other.

Follow through together

We succeed (or fail) together, both internally and with our clients. We do what we say we will, when we say we will, to support one another and help realize our intended impact.

Our history

Jenn Vranek founded Education First in 2006 in order to fill a need in public education reform: excellent consulting and advising delivered by practitioners and policy advisors, not general strategists. Our initial team of six has grown to more than 80 team members who live in more than 25 different states and work across the nation. We are educators, policy advisors, advocates and funders. We have served local, state and national clients in more than 41 states plus the District of Columbia. We understand the complexity of public education — from the classroom to national policy — and know how to navigate it. Our clients have access to their immediate project team as well as the wealth of knowledge and expertise that lives throughout the firm, from coast to coast.

What’s next? Action steps to help you benefit from our expertise:

Work with us Gain insights Learn about our expertise