• 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

Supporting the Social, Emotional and Academic Learning Needs of LGBTQI students

The Social Emotional Learning Innovation Fund offers up to $5,000 grant awards for teachers seeking to foster students’ social and emotional skills in fresh, inventive or innovative ways. In 2018, for the first time, the fund asked for proposals from educators working to support the social emotional needs of LGBTQI students. In honor of National Coming Out Day, we met...
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Helpful Resources

Reimagining the Classroom to Support Students

This is the second in a series of posts written by teacher awardees of the NoVo Social Emotional Learning Innovation Fund. You can read the...
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State Teacher Leadership Toolkit

State education agencies have a unique opportunity through the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to access the funding and support needed to advance their approach...
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Social & Emotional Learning: Looking Back, Aiming Forward

Social emotional learning (SEL) holds great potential for improving learning and college and career-ready outcomes for all students. But there is much work to do...
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A New Resource for Advocates for High-Quality Assessments

By design, the Common Core standards and other college- and career-ready expectations states have established recently were designed to have a ripple effect throughout the...
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