Focusing on what matters.

Education First is a seasoned team of trusted advisors to the leaders responsible for delivering what many Americans want most: public education that effectively prepares all students for success in college, careers and a world of constant change. We devote our energy and expertise to improving opportunities for all children, especially low-income students and students of color. Each day we demand excellence from ourselves so that our contributions to our clients and the field result in sustainable progress in classrooms, schools and school systems.

What We Do

Education First is a national, mission-driven strategy and policy organization with unique and deep expertise in education improvement. Our mission is to deliver exceptional ideas, experience-based solutions and results so all students – and particularly low-income students and students of color – are prepared for success in college, career and life. We work closely with policymakers, practitioners, funders and advocates to design and accelerate policies and plans that support strong systems, outstanding educators, engaged students and effective investments.

Nationwide presence

We are more than 60 consultants who live in 21 different states and work across the nation. We are educators, policy advisors, advocates and funders. We have served local, state and national clients in more than 48 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. We understand the complexity of public education – from the classroom to national policy – and know how to navigate it. We rely on our trusted relationships and deep knowledge to develop solutions that bridge the gap between visionary leadership and pragmatic implementation.


Our History

Jenn Vranek founded Education First in 2006 in order to fill a need in public education reform: excellent consulting and advising delivered by practitioners and policy advisors, not general strategists. In 2008, Jenn recruited Marc Frazer, Bill Porter and Susan Bodary to join the firm. From the beginning, our clients have represented the many voices in our sector: local school systems, state education policymakers, teacher unions and teacher voice organizations, foundations and nonprofit advocacy and implementation support organizations. Our initial team of six has grown to more than 50. When a client partners with Education First, that client not only has access to the immediate project team, but to the wealth of knowledge and expertise that lives throughout the firm, from coast to coast.