Partners in Strategy

EDC works in partnership with foundations across the United States to expand opportunities for children, adolescents, and adults and to improve the institutions that serve them. We confront challenges collaboratively with foundations and evolve solutions that sustain meaningful change.

Here in New England, a significant example is our work with the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, which is experimenting with new approaches in districts and schools from Maine to Connecticut to make public education more equitable and more effective and to expand learning "beyond the school calendar and walls."

More recently, the Foundation asked Andrew Seager for research support and help developing a theory of action that will be the basis of a future grant program under the DLSC initiative. Seager will assess the research on parent and community support for—and resistance to—radical changes to underperforming schools or school systems, review effective systemic urban improvement strategies, and eventually provide recommendations to guide the development of a theory of action for future investment in urban districts.

Seager likes Nellie Mae’s student-centered approach to providing more equitable and effective learning experiences in schools. “It puts a spin on attending to outcomes that is often not central to the public debate,” he says, “and it fascinating to see how the Foundation seeks to do its work in the context of state and federal policies that often put significant constraints on districts and schools. How do they constructively find the leverage points that influence the process?”

Learn more about how we are:

•  Providing Customized Approaches to Improving Schools

On April 25 and 26, 2012, Ilene Kantrov and Babette Moeller participate in “Teaching and Learning in the Era of the Common Core: The Students at the Center Symposium” hosted by Jobs for the Future and supported by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, to engage education researchers, writers, practitioners, thought leaders, and policymakers in identifying how student-centered approaches to learning can be implemented at the district, state, and national levels to further the goals of education reform and to align with the Common Core State Standards.