K-12 Education Policy
The K-12 Education Policy team is committed to developing policies for a new education agenda rooted in principles of opportunity for all and equity in access.
What We're Doing
Racial equity and community-informed policies
K-12 Education applies an explicit race and resource equity lens to our policy and research agenda. We set a standard where equity is centered in all education policymaking and practice, and where institutional racism is called out and addressed as a barrier to progress.
College, career, and civic readiness
We are dedicated to preparing all students for college, civic engagement, and the workforce. We recognize the importance of the K-12 education system in providing every child with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in higher education and a changing workforce.
Modernizing and elevating the teaching profession
We recognize that no education reform effort can be successful without teachers. We are working to modernize and elevate the teaching profession so that teachers receive the training, pay, and respect they deserve and all students have access to high-quality teachers.
Investment and funding equity for public education
We know that funding matters in education, and there are both racial and socioeconomic disparities in investment and opportunities. We are fighting for increased investment and more equitable funding systems so that schools and students receive the resources they deserve.
Future of Testing in Education: Effective and Equitable Assessment Systems
How To Ensure Equitable Access to Great Teaching
Ending K-12 Education Funding Inequity: Public Education Opportunity Grants
The K-12 Education team is grateful to be part of several great coalitions that allow education advocates and community members to share information, coordinate advocacy, brainstorm policy proposals, and more.
Public Education Big Table Coalition
This coalition represents a group of education, civil rights, disability, research, and community organizations working on K-12 education policy and advocacy.
The PIE Network connects, strengthens, and catalyzes advocates across communities, states, and ideological lines to ensure every student has an equitable and excellent education.
This national coalition of diverse education organizations and educators sought to transform the systems and policies that support teachers to ensure all students have access to great teaching.
The K-12 Education team has worked with partner organizations on major initiatives aimed at strengthening different parts of the U.S. education system.
WeBuildEDU, in partnership with EduColor
WeBuildEDU is a campaign led by the Center for American Progress and EduColor dedicated to amplifying the voices of educators of color in discussions about what public education should look like in light of the ongoing movement for racial justice and the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a combination of media, local organizing, and policy proposals, the campaign will work to ensure that decision-makers are centering the ideas and experiences of educators of color and involving them in policymaking in the short and long term.
Moonshot for Kids, in partnership with the Thomas B. Fordham Institute
The Moonshot for Kids initiative was a yearlong collaboration with the Fordham Institute to gather ideas for new research and development (R&D) and bolster bipartisan support for education R&D. The initiative had three components: publications about the history of education R&D; a competition to identify big, bold ideas that additional investment in education R&D could fund; and a policy proposal for how to build out a sustainable education R&D infrastructure.
Our team believes that education policymaking should be developed with support from the community. We collaborate with community-based groups to hold conversations with educators, administrators, students, and parents and incorporate these stories and insights into our policy proposals and advocacy. Here are some of the organizations we have worked with.
Alliance for Quality Education
A coalition working to end the systemic racism and economic oppression in New York’s public schools shortchanging generations of Black, brown, low-income, and immigrant students.
Colorado Education Initiative
CEI helps teachers, school leaders, and district stakeholders catalyze bold, comprehensive change in public education in Colorado.
Education Justice Research and Organizing Collaborative at NYU Metro Center
EJ-ROC brings together researchers, data and policy analysts, and community organizers to design solutions and advance the education justice movement.
EduColor mobilizes advocates nationwide around issues of educational equity, agency, and justice.
An immigrant-led nonprofit partnering with educators and community leaders to ensure safe and inclusive schools for undocumented and mixed-status students and families.
NewMexicoKidsCAN serves as a catalyst and conduit to advocate for community-informed, student-centered and research-backed education policies in New Mexico.
Parents Amplifying Voices in Education
PAVE connects, informs, and empowers parent leaders to give families in Washington, D.C., a voice and choice in the vision for education in the city.
Student Voice equips students as storytellers, organizers and partners who advocate for student-driven solutions to educational inequity.
TransFamily Support Services
TransFamily Support Services promotes a gender-affirming and accepting community through resources, training, and education.
About our team
We are deeply committed to the role of education in building an equitable and just society. Our approach is to apply an explicit racial equity lens to problem-solving. That lens requires us to engage the communities and people most deeply impacted by education policies in our research, advocacy, and coalition-building. A combination of professional expertise and expertise from the lived experiences of community members allows us to develop and advocate for ideas that will expand opportunity, build a strong democracy, and advance an inclusive economy, both now and in the future.
5 States Addressing Child Hunger and Food Insecurity With Free School Meals for All
State governments are taking the lead in implementing no-cost school meal programs to eliminate administrative and financial burdens for students, families, and school staff.
How To Improve Employment Outcomes for Young Adults Leaving Incarceration
Young adults reentering communities after incarceration face many barriers to finding stable work, but forward-thinking policies can lead to better employment outcomes and safer communities.
How To Make Schools Safer Without Additional Physical Security Measures
The newly enacted Bipartisan Safer Communities Act can help schools and districts create safer learning environments without resorting to implementing measures that harden schools.
Book Banning, Curriculum Restrictions, and the Politicization of U.S. Schools
State and local officials’ efforts to undermine public education by playing politics with school curricula run against the interest of most American children and families.
Federal Investments in K-12 Infrastructure Would Benefit Students Across the Country
Equitable, dedicated long-term funding for school infrastructure is needed to ensure all school buildings are safe and conducive to student learning.
Teacher Preparation Shortcuts Won’t Solve the Teacher Shortage
Recently passed legislation that reduces training requirements for teachers will harm student learning, weaken the profession, and ignore the systemic issues that have long contributed to teacher shortages.
School Air Filtration and Ventilation Strategies To Improve Health, Education, Equity, and Environmental Outcomes
Upgrading school ventilation and air filtration is a critical part of a multilayered strategy to improve and protect health, education, the environment, and equity.
Why K-12 Teachers and Their Students Need Investments in Child Care
To meet the caregiving needs of the K-12 educator workforce and the developmental needs of the youngest students, the United States needs sustained, significant federal investments in the accessibility and affordability of high-quality child care.
The Alternative Teacher Certification Sector Outside Higher Education
Enrollment continues to grow in alternative teacher certification programs operated outside of colleges, but the number of students completing these programs is declining.
Prioritizing Racial Equity in Student Mental Health Spending
States and school districts have rightly prioritized student mental health as they start to spend pandemic recovery dollars, but they must do more to ensure that funding also promotes racial equity.
Proposed Priorities for the School Pulse Panel Data Collection
In these comments, the Alliance for Excellent Education and partners provide recommendations to the School Pulse Panel Data Collection to advance shared educational equity priorities through federal, state, and local policy and advocacy.
Proposed Changes to the Mandatory Civil Rights Data Collection
In these comments, the Center for American Progress suggests revisions to the Civil Rights Data Collection to get the data necessary to address equity gaps in education.