• Education First.

    Our children’s futures depend on us following through to identify smart solutions to public education’s toughest challenges.

  • Experience First.

    Our team brings deep, practical expertise earned through on-the-ground experience as former teachers, district and state leaders, policy advisors and foundation staff.

  • Quality First.

    We understand the complexity of education in the United States—from the classroom to national policy—and know how to navigate it.

  • Results First.

    We deliver results: better policies, better implementation, better grantmaking and broader understanding.



We live in a fast-moving world driven by knowledge, innovation and creativity. Our nation’s schools are adapting to these changes—but much remains to be done. We need a culture change in public education to transform the way we teach, lead and learn.

Education First can help. We are a mission-driven strategy and policy organization with unique and deep expertise in education improvement. We partner with practitioners, policymakers, funders and advocates to design and accelerate policies and plans that help all young people— particularly students in poverty and students of color—succeed in college, careers and life.

From Our Blog

Moving the Needle on Assessment Literacy

Back when we started teaching almost 15 years ago, “assessments,” in our minds, were things like spelling tests and exit tickets. We mostly created them ourselves and learned through trial and error how to write questions that would help us understand our students’ learning. We also learned what types of questions don’t work—like the one Emily asked her students on...
Read more >

Helpful Resources

How Partnerships Between Teacher Prep Programs and Districts Can Transform the Teacher Pipeline

I realized how lucky I was on my first day as a classroom teacher. Walking into I.S. 162, a large comprehensive middle school in the...
Read more >

Read More >

Featured Story: Core to College

Education First facilitated a network of state grantees improving alignment between K-12 and higher education on the Common Core and new assessments.

Read More >

Toward A Next-Generation School Accountability System

When the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) became law in 2015, it granted states unprecedented authority to innovate and create new accountability systems. In this...
Read more >

Read More >

Fewer and Better Local Assessments: A Toolkit for Educators

It’s time for a more strategic approach to assessment. Schools, school districts and charter management organizations (CMOs) need to take a fresh look at what...
Read more >

Read More >