EDUCATION FIRST & ASPEN EDUCATION
Leading an Integration and Innovation Fellowship for education leaders at the state education department, district, and school level.
Education First's Approach
Education First, in partnership with Aspen Education and Society Program, is helping state education agency (SEA) and local education agency (LEA) leaders build integrated state reform strategies to improve support for educators and outcomes for students. They are facilitating the Coherence Lab Fellowship in which teams of education leaders from three different states—Ohio, Nevada, Wisconsin—learn to identify and break down barriers to meaningful collaboration and engagement while addressing key problems of practice. This 18-month learning experience is organized in rapid cycle bursts of learning, practice, and reflection, and aims to transform how these agencies work to support a coherent policy-to-practice experience for teachers and principals.
State of Ohio
To fulfill Each Child, Our Future, the state’s newly adopted five-year strategic plan for education, the Ohio Department of Education seeks to improve its processes, structures and culture so that all districts, particularly those with priority schools, benefit from quick access to clear guidance, accurate answers to questions and two-way communication aimed at supporting school and district leaders to address challenges and improve student outcomes.
State of Nevada
Moving towards a comprehensive early childhood system, SEA, LEAs, and Community Partners will work to align standards and practices across publicly funded pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classrooms. The team will engage teachers to better determine the problems that stem from a fragmented system as well as solutions. Nevada’s PoP will focus on increasing access to high quality pre-k programs aligned with developmentally appropriate kindergarten classrooms, the transition between the two grades, and demonstrate the connection to Read by Grade 3.
State of Wisconsin
Wisconsin has clear data showing that students living in poverty and students of color have a disproportionate chance of having an inexperienced or out of field teacher. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (WDPI) hypothesize that although many factors contribute to the state’s persistent student achievement gaps, this disproportionality is one important reason. WDPI is creating systems and structures to build and maintain both intra- and inter-agency communication and collaboration. They are engaging districts and educators in the design and implementation of high quality, standards-aligned instructional materials and professional learning opportunities in an effort to mitigate the effect of inexperienced teachers.