Creating sustainable systems and practical solutions by centering practitioner voices and needs

Education First partners with school leaders, educators, unions and school systems to accelerate academic success, transform the teaching profession and cultivate coherent and thriving systems that enable students to graduate from high school with expanded options. We believe that sustainable change happens only when educators, students and families are centered and engaged in problem solving on the issues and challenges they face. We coach and advise instructional leaders to help educators implement high-quality instructional systems. We frequently facilitate teams or award grants to educators, schools and school systems to develop practical policies and programs to promote improved educator preparation pipelines and combat educator burnout and shortages, such as co-designing sustainable and effective teacher residencies, selecting strategic school staffing models and implementing practices to improve teacher morale, wellbeing and retention. The SEL in Action Awards for classroom educators and school districts, made possible by the NoVo Foundation and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, seeded hundreds of projects that foster social and emotional competencies in students in grades PK-12.

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Recent clients

Alliance College-Ready Public Schools

We partnered with Alliance College-Ready Public Schools (ACRPS) to articulate a strategic plan centering racial justice and stakeholder experience in the organization’s strategic priorities, goals and practices. We engaged stakeholder groups most impacted by educational inequities in every phase of the work– including conducting focus groups with more than 300 current students, alumni, families, teachers and school leaders– aiming for equity of voice, perspective and positional power in our research and recommendations.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Copy

The Teacher Preparation Transformation Initiative supports eight networks of teacher preparation programs, which also come together in a community of practice facilitated by Education First to transform the way teachers are prepared for the classroom.

Colorado Department of Education (CO DOE)

We facilitate the Accountability, Accreditation, Student Performance, and Resource Inequity Task Force for the state of Colorado, which is a yearlong task force of 26 appointed representative stakeholders required by HB23-1241 to study academic opportunities, inequities, promising practice in schools and improvements to the state’s accountability and accreditation system for schools and districts.

New York State Department of Education

We partnered with the New York State Education Department to develop a statewide professional learning strategy leveraging the expertise and reach of its intermediate education service units, the BOCEs, to support more than 600 school systems with the implementation of new state standards.

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