The Lens
Bringing vision and clarity to education policy

A pandemic innovation: The power of national mentors to build teacher capacity everywhere

Steven Wilson | Thu, 08/05/2021

Early findings, including participant experiences, from a new teacher mentor program.

Systems upgrade: Central offices join the tech revolution

Elizabeth Chu, Maddy Sims | Wed, 08/04/2021

Systems should build upon operational advances made during the pandemic that yield efficient and equitable operating practices and responsive and timely decision-making.

Curricula on the cutting-room floor: What are we learning about high school priorities, scope, and goals?

There are open questions about the consequences of narrowing curriculum, which students saw their curriculum most curtailed, and what we should learn about the nature of curriculum itself from the year’s experience.

How 100 large urban districts are wrapping family & community input into plans for spending federal emergency school relief funds

Districts have wide latitude in how they will use the funds, with one clear mandate: that they engage in “meaningful consultation” with their communities and factor this input into spending choices.

Bolder leadership needed to keep students safe and learning next year

Christine Pitts, Travis Pillow | Fri, 07/30/2021

Schools cannot afford to squander another year because of tepid leadership and political squabbling; they owe students a chance to gain back the learning opportunities they were denied last year.

Addressing learning loss for students with disabilities: Could Universal Design for Learning be one answer?

Katy Bateman, Lanya McKittrick | Wed, 07/28/2021

Practitioners and leaders who support students with disabilities have an opportunity to meet the moment as schools recover from the pandemic.

A national corps of mentors: Lessons from the pandemic on elevating teachers’ craft, at scale

Steven Wilson | Wed, 07/21/2021

A new initiative offers a teacher mentor model as an alternative to the current and ineffective cycle of teacher observation, feedback, and evaluation.

First look at ESSER priorities: Districts are placing their bets on what they know

Bree Dusseault, Travis Pillow | Thu, 07/15/2021

Our review finds few plans, at least so far, to invest stimulus funding in ways that will address long-term systemic challenges.


Mon, 11/15/2021

Use the Canopy project interactive data portal to search for innovative schools by region, level, focus, and more.

Thu, 10/28/2021

Three new policy memos provide recommendations to start a discussion about how state leaders can ensure these shifts lead to better teaching, learning, engagement, and well-being for students.

Tue, 10/12/2021

School system leaders can draw lessons from small pandemic learning communities to better support their students’ well-being and learning.