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 lifting all children, especially those from low-income backgrounds and youth of color, to a world of opportunity otherwise denied.
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.
In all of our engagements, we bring:
- A strong urgency to improve opportunity for low-income youth and youth of color
- A conviction that high standards—when reinforced by regular measurement, effective teaching, high support and shared accountability—can help all students excel
- A willingness to embrace innovative ideas that help educators be successful and all students achieve at higher levels
- A commitment to identifying best practices and effective policies, and finding ways to scale them
- An understanding that even the best, most innovative ideas won’t be successful without careful attention to advocacy, engagement and communications
Education First supports organizations that share these beliefs by helping them tackle the barriers that too often get in the way: low expectations and too little accountability; poor planning and weak or limited capacity; funding that is trumped by competing priorities; system inflexibility and a general aversion to innovative ideas; a focus on what feels right rather than what actually works; and policy decisions based on what makes adults most comfortable, not what is best for children.