Our Story

Our Story

Our Story

Center on Reinventing Public Education

Improving education through transformative, evidence-based ideas

Through research and policy analysis CRPE seeks ways to make public education more effective, especially for America’s disadvantaged students. We start from the premise that, too often, the structure of today’s public education system makes it difficult, if not impossible, for every family to have access to a school that meets the needs of their child, and for teachers and other adults to achieve the goal of providing an outstanding public education for every student.

The gaps we have to close—between privileged and disadvantaged students in our nation and between U.S. students and their peers in other advanced countries—require bold changes in how we provide public education. Policymakers, philanthropists, and civic leaders must take significant action so that those overseeing public schools become active managers of performance and improvement, rather than passive arbiters of compliance. School systems must become active problem solvers, encouraging innovation rather than just tolerating limited examples of success. Public education should attract and develop talented teachers and leaders. Public funds need to flow equitably to students and align with performance goals. Families should have a wide range of high-quality public school options to meet their students’ unique needs.

To address these needs, we help redesign governance, oversight, and dynamic education delivery systems to make it possible for great educators and programs to do their best work with students.

Our work emphasizes evidence over posture and confronts hard truths. We search outside the traditional boundaries of education to find pragmatic, equitable, and promising approaches to address the complex challenges facing public education. Our goal is to create new possibilities for the parents, educators, and public officials who strive to improve America's schools.

CRPE is a self-sustaining organization affiliated with the University of Washington. Our work is funded entirely through private philanthropic dollars, federal grants, and contracts.

Our Funding

Over the past 18 years, CRPE has received support from a diverse group of foundations and organizations. We would like to thank our current funders:

  • The Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Anonymous
  • The Broad Foundations
  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
  • Fund for Educational Excellence
  • The Joyce Foundation
  • Michael and Susan Dell Foundation
  • National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
  • Rodel Charitable Foundation
  • The Seattle Foundation
  • US Department of Education
  • Walton Family Foundation

We would also like to recognize past supporters of our work, those foundations and organizations that were instrumental to our early start-up efforts and those who helped fund key initiatives over the years:

  • A+ Commission
  • Achelis & Bodman Foundations
  • Alcoa (grant to Brookings)
  • Anonymous
  • The Atlantic Philanthropies
  • The Ball Foundation
  • The Boeing Company
  • The Brookings Institution
  • The Business Roundtable
  • The Daniels Fund
  • The Doris & Donald Fisher Fund
  • Education Commission of the States
  • Exxon Education Foundation
  • The George Gund Foundation
  • The Heinz Endowments
  • William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • Lumina Foundation for Education
  • The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
  • Mann-Paller Foundation
  • NACSA (National Association of Charter School Authorizers)
  • National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
  • Partnership for Learning
  • The Pew Charitable Trusts
  • The Piton Foundation
  • RAND
  • Smith Richardson Foundation
  • The Spencer Foundation
  • Stupski Family Foundation
  • Wallace-Reader's Digest Funds

On March 1, 2012, Founder Paul T. Hill stepped down as center Director, naming long-time colleague Robin Lake into the role. Read more...

Robin Lake and Paul Hill, June 6, 2012

Contact Us
425 Pontius Ave N, Ste 410
Seattle, WA 98109