The Lens
Bringing vision and clarity to education policy

It’s time for a new grand bargain that ends school funding based on seat time

Larry Miller, Matthew H. Joseph | Mon, 11/30/2020

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed fatal flaws in the way states fund education—based on the time students sit in school, rather than on the quality of instruction. 

Understanding the learning pods landscape

Ashley Jochim, Robin Lake | Thu, 11/19/2020

We are launching a national database that will catalogue and make sense of learning pod initiatives across the country, with an eye toward equity.

Mapping the landscape of learning in New England

Our research aims to show how school systems are adapting and innovating in the face of the pandemic, with a particular focus on efforts to sustain learning for high school aged students.

Reopening checkup: Filling the leadership vacuum will help schools focus on engaging students, addressing learning loss

The latest update of our analysis of 100 of the nation's highest-profile school systems suggests districts have been adapting as they go, but there is much work ahead. 

Can public education return to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic?

Paul Hill, Ashley Jochim | Fri, 10/30/2020

We think a return to the pre-coronavirus status quo will prove impossible.

A Puget Sound-area charter school couldn’t open as planned—but it still found a way to support students

Travis Pillow | Mon, 10/19/2020

After a facilities snag forced Cascade Midway Academy to delay its opening as a full-fledged new school, its founders decided to launch a learning hub for 12 students enrolled in nearby districts and charter schools.

We reviewed the school reopening plans for 106 districts around the country. Here's how they square with reality

Robin Lake, Bree Dusseault | Fri, 10/16/2020

After tracking and detailing school systems’ reopening plans for months, our research now turns to how districts are translating their plans into action.

Special education must no longer be an afterthought

Robin Lake, Lanya McKittrick | Thu, 10/15/2020

Districts had all summer to address the concerns that special education families raised this spring. Yet, in many school systems, special education was largely an afterthought in districts’ planning for fall reopening. 


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.