What Matters Most

We are inspired by the belief that a high-quality education is the best way to improve the odds for every young person. We are passionate about supporting all children, particularly Black, Indigenous and other students of color and students living in low-income communities, toward a world of opportunity where they can pursue their passions and experience success.

In today’s world, success means not just earning a high school diploma, but also graduating with the knowledge and skills needed to compete for family-wage jobs and successfully pursue higher education or specialized career training. We partner with leaders and organizations that share this goal. We collaborate to pursue high expectations and timely supports that engage students; prepare, hire, develop and engage outstanding educators; identify the smart policies, practices and funding streams that help schools, school systems and state agencies excel; and build capacity for effective organizations and investments.

Our Perspectives: Our perspectives from our education and consulting experience compel us to challenge the status quo and look to the future.

  • We are practitioners, first and foremost. Our 50+ team members across 22 states bring deep expertise earned on-the-ground as teachers, district and state leaders, advocates, policy advisors and grantmakers. We are humble about the challenges our clients face and realistic about the work needed to make a difference.
  • We help cultivate the conditions that ensure equitable and successful experiences for all students and educators. We understand the inextricable links among social, emotional and academic development, educator diversity and quality and innovative schools. We know that policies and programs must cohere across schools, schools systems, state agencies and the federal government or they will fail. We strive in every project to deliberately address diversity, equity and inclusion by engaging people closest to the problem and by intentionally working the project plan at every stage with attention to students and people along lines of difference, including race, gender, ethnicity and learning needs.
  • We are skilled strategists who bridge the gap between visionary leadership and pragmatic implementation. We have extensive experience navigating, designing and leading complex projects with multiple stakeholders and partners. We value relationships grounded in honesty and inquiry so that the open exchange of ideas produces dynamic results.

Helpful Resources

Featured Resource: Integrating Social, Emotional, and Academic Development (SEAD): An Action Guide for School Leadership Teams

To help principals and school leadership teams see how social and emotional learning can enhance academic performance, and how to weave social-emotional development into every...
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Featured Resource: CIO Toolkit

We are at a critical moment in public education in America as districts across the country address the dual challenges presented by COVID-19 and systemic...
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DEI Companion Document: A Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Guide to the Teacher Preparation Outcomes and Indicators

High-quality teacher preparation can play a critical role in dismantling inequities in education, such as disparities in student achievement and access to high-quality education, which...
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Making the Most of Grantmaking: A Primer for Designing and Launching Open RFPs

Rigorous and transparent open Request for Proposals (RFP) processes are one strategy grantmakers can use to source, vet and select high-potential grantees. Done well, RFPs...
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