3.1 OUR PARTNER: EDUCATION FIRST
We are excited to bring compelling subject matter expertise to bare for redefinED through our partner Education First.
Education First’s Core Strengths Education First strives to improve public education by helping leaders innovate, think bigger and achieve more on behalf of students. Our work gives our clients—districts, funders, policymakers and nonprofits—greater knowledge and stronger skills to succeed. Our vision is that a child educated in America will be well-prepared for a world of constant change, learning and opportunity. Income and ethnicity will no longer determine the quality of education students receive. Our public education and postsecondary systems can—and will—prepare every student for success in college, careers and life. We strive to ensure that our engagements deliberately address issues of diversity. We do this by viewing the project work at every stage through a lens that gauges the impact of the work on students of different races, genders, ethnic backgrounds and abilities. We are practitioners first and foremost. We bring authentic, in-your-shoes expertise in the content, issues, politics and messiness of making real changes that yield real differences, from early education to K12 to higher education and workforce systems. Our team brings deep, practical expertise earned through on-the-ground experience as former teachers, district and state leaders, policy advisors and foundation staff. Because of our experience, we are humble about the challenges our clients face and realistic about the work needed to make a difference. We understand how to effectively design, implement and scale programs and models. Our team has the experience and knows the research required to implement programs with lasting impact. Sustainable implementation requires: conducting needs assessments; using the principles of both human- centered design and improvement science to plan and test ideas, refine and continuously improve implementation; co-designing detailed action plans to help the plan/program implementers execute the big ideas; and working hand-in-glove to implement the plans. We are skilled in the design and implementation of efforts that engage many stakeholders around a common vision for complex, high-impact change in the field. We have a strong track record of successfully establishing and managing large-scale change efforts that aim to shift policy and practice to better serve students, especially under-served students and students of color. We collaborate with clients to design appropriate structures, systems and processes that enable these efforts to bring stakeholders together and sustain their engagement over time. We design meaningful opportunities for organizations and individuals to collaborate through our expert facilitation, knowledge of effective partnerships and use of leading-edge adult learning design principles. Our clients benefit from coming together to share information and strategies. Meetings and convenings aren’t just a necessary evil in public education; when designed and facilitated well, our clients can use the time to step back from their day to day work, learn from others’ promising practices, collaborate to solve problems of practice and draft action plans to advance their work. We understand school districts and their needs. Our clients look to us because of our deep, practical expertise earned through our on the-ground experiences as former teachers, principals and district leaders. Many of our team members previously worked in school district central offices, including most of the team members proposed to work on this engagement. Because of this background and our work across the country, we understand the context and challenges facing school district leaders and are well-connected to district leaders in peer districts from whom we can learn.
FINDING YOUR FORTE STRATEGIC PLANNING PROPOSAL
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