The Lens
Bringing vision and clarity to education policy

In the future, diverse approaches to schooling

Paul Hill, Mike Johnston | Wed, 01/27/2021

An increasing number of children will attend schools that deliver instruction, use time, and define the work of teachers and students very differently.

Don’t force square-peg students back into wrong-shaped holes

Robin Lake, Paul Hill | Thu, 01/21/2021

What gets lost in the reopening debate is the growing evidence that a significant portion of students and their families are actually happier and learn better outside of traditional schooling. 

Five lessons on how community-driven learning hubs could change school districts long-term

Travis Pillow, Bree Dusseault | Fri, 01/08/2021

We sat in on nearly three dozen conversations with teams of district leaders and community-based nonprofits that are collaborating to run learning hubs.

What does ‘attendance’ mean for remote learners in a pandemic? How 106 districts are dealing with absenteeism, student engagement & grades

Bree Dusseault, Alvin Makori | Tue, 01/05/2021

The districts we’re tracking show that much can be done to improve how attendance is recorded and what actions can be taken to maintain high expectations without penalizing students for challenging circumstances.

Thinking forward in 2021: We must safely reopen schools, but the goal cannot be a return to normal

Robin Lake | Tue, 01/05/2021

We begin this year laser focused on ensuring our school systems catch kids up, reopen as soon as possible, and begin rebuilding in ways that address the underlying inequities that we documented last year.

One size fits no one: Meeting the varied demands and needs of students

Could providing students more opportunity to shape their learning experience help them manage remote learning and increase engagement?

Any school can start building the key ingredients for effective special education

Lanya McKittrick | Thu, 12/10/2020

Schools that do special education effectively tend to view every child as an individual, whether they have a disability or not.

Learning pods: Providing education equity for all families

Lynn Olson, Georgia Heyward | Tue, 12/01/2020

Some parents are simply opting out as the ultimate form of empowerment.


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.