Plan for Action
The Education Redesign Lab will bring together leaders from policy, practice, research, and advocacy to nurture a national movement for this broader conception of education and child development, promoting a children's opportunity agenda. We will synthesize findings from research, convenings, and conversations in the field and arrive at elements of a national model, or models, that will be adaptable to local contexts. The Education Redesign Lab will be positioned – with early research findings, design models, a constituency, and national visibility – to play a significant role in advocating for policy change at the local, state, and federal levels.
Laboratory Field Work
We are committed to not just talking about the equity work that needs doing, but to actually doing it. No one has yet built a 21st century engine of child development and education that delivers success to all at scale. While we have some design principles and theories about what needs to happen, the real work takes place in communities where there are leaders who share this vision. We aim to immerse ourselves in this work – laboratory work – in a handful of communities where top leadership has embraced our vision and expressed a willingness to expend political and financial capital in an effort to figure out how to get it done. Our work will be informed by and build upon successes associated with prior initiatives in this area, such as full-service/community schools, the Harlem Children’s Zone, and various collective impact efforts.
In addition to our By All Means initiative, we are currently engaged in field work in the state of Illinois where we have supported a new Partnership for Resilience, a ground-breaking collaboration between the Illinois Education Association and the Illinois chapter of the American Association of Pediatricians. The partnership is working to address the health needs of students through professional development and on-site services in a group of districts south of Chicago.
Research plays a critical role in the work of the Education Redesign Lab: it guides our thinking, shapes our ongoing theory development, and provides the basis for our program, policy, and advocacy work. There are five components to our growing research enterprise: 1) field mapping; 2) development of a clearinghouse of promising practices; 3) research briefs; 4) evaluation of laboratory field work; and 5) original research. The Lab’s research in progress includes studies of the implementation of personalized learning in New England states, the integration of school-based health clinics in the San Diego Unified School District, lessons from international initiatives related to the Lab’s focus areas, and the creation of the Partnership for Resilience effort in Illinois.
We are also embarking on a multi-year study of the work of the By All Means consortium. The primary aims of this study are to document the process of moving towards new, integrated systems of education and child development in each of the consortium cities; to highlight which strategies moved the cities forward in creating these systems and what barriers the cities encountered (impediments research); to examine how these cities incorporated the needs of all students, especially those living in poverty, into their system designs; to understand how students, teachers, and parents, and others experience elements of the new system; and to analyze quantitative outcomes on a range of measures.