The Lens
Bringing vision and clarity to education policy

Now’s the time for states to invest in making online learning better

Travis Pillow | Wed, 07/14/2021

Online connections enable new relationship-building opportunities, like remote peer mentorship and virtual meetings that are more accessible to working parents. 

Most Students in Urban Districts Will Have Summer Learning Options, But Schools’ Plans May Miss the Mark

| Thu, 07/08/2021

Our latest review found that 97 of 100 reviewed districts have now announced some form of summer school programming.

Will national wedge issues cripple local education leadership?

Paul Hill | Wed, 07/07/2021

Except for pandemic safety issues, which schools must manage, K–12 education is the wrong forum for culture war factions to fight through their differences.

Are smaller class sizes without the pitfalls possible? Pandemic pods make the case

Ashley Jochim, Travis Pillow | Thu, 06/24/2021

School systems recovering from the COVID-19 crisis may be able to recreate the high level of individual attention students saw in successful pandemic pods.

How 11 states are using emergency federal funds to make improvements in college and career access

States have a historic opportunity to invest in initiatives that will lead to systemic change and address long-standing inequities.

Don’t risk innovation and family trust with a rush to in-person learning

Paul Hill | Thu, 06/03/2021

The downsides of the rush to jam everyone back into classrooms are evident.

“Don’t leave me out": Schools should use insights gained from the pandemic to strengthen partnerships with high school families

We set out to assess what family-teacher partnerships have looked like in high school throughout the pandemic—paying close attention to promising new developments and enduring areas of need.

Many kindergartners aren't showing up as schools reopen in person. How some large urban districts are trying to re-engage families

Lisa Chu | Thu, 05/27/2021

We recommend these strategies for districts to consider to curb declining enrollment in the next school year and beyond.


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.