About the Center on Reinventing Public Education

Informing systemic improvement in American public education so that every student is prepared to solve tomorrow’s challenges.

Our Purpose

The Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) is one of the nation’s leading sources for transformative, evidence-based ideas to improve education. To ensure all students are prepared for a rapidly changing future, we put forward rigorous research and policy analysis to help educators, policymakers, civic and community leaders, parents, and students themselves reimagine education systems and structures. Learn more about our current research.

We are a nonpartisan research center open to all possible solutions to measurably improve outcomes for all students. We work in the creative center across ideological lines to achieve strong, equitable schooling at scale, empower families, and inform and encourage effective governance.

We challenge all assumptions and see public education as a goal, not as a set of fixed institutions. We formulate new options that are bold in prescription, but grounded in evidence and the realities of implementation.

We believe that improvements depend on adept political and community engagement, not just good policy. We believe that incentives matter and that the structure and governance of financing and service delivery systems determine those incentives. We believe parent choice is essential but not magic.

We recognize the significant progress in urban education reform, but are mindful that opportunities are uneven and much work remains. With new technical advances and changes in the economy, even the most effective schools must develop new approaches to better serve students with individualized learning pathways or support.

We make sense of complex trends and data, communicate new possibilities for system change, and provide guidance and thought leadership to support that change. We pride ourselves on our ability to see around the corner, reach across traditional party and sector lines, and craft solutions to problems few have anticipated.


Founded by Paul T. Hill in 1993, CRPE has created a distinct lens through which to view the complex systemic challenges affecting public education. We asked, “How can public oversight and funding be made compatible with school effectiveness?” Working to identify systemic barriers and solutions brought us to the portfolio strategy, pupil-based funding, more effective charter school authorizing, and new roles for state education agencies.

We have worked closely with city and state leaders who are trying to transform schools in their communities through the Portfolio Network, hosting convenings in San Antonio, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Memphis, Oakland, and elsewhere. Our rigorous research and balanced analysis have helped policymakers and community leaders understand how new school models have performed and how the best models might be replicated. We have helped leaders at all levels—federal, state, local, and the school—to understand costs and tradeoffs and to direct money where it is most needed.

Originally based at the University of Washington’s Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, CRPE joined UW Bothell in 2012. CRPE is a self-sustaining organization funded through public and private research and operational grants.


CRPE is led by Director Robin Lake, who also serves as Affiliate Faculty, School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at UW Bothell. Senior researchers include Betheny Gross, Michael DeArmond, and Ashley Jochim. Learn more about our experts and staff.