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Early childhood education and K-12 school systems

Strengthening early childhood, primary, and secondary school systems and institutions to improve learning outcomes and child well-being
Education systems around the world are facing a uniquely difficult moment: balancing student and staff health while ensuring the continuity and acceleration of learning. They must also consider new ideas that reimagine education for a post-pandemic world: integrating new technologies; harnessing increased levels of parent engagement; providing holistic student support; teaching skills for a new future of work; improving teacher development; and equitably allocating resources to close widening opportunity gaps.
Drawing on our evidence-based interventions on curriculum, teaching, and assessments, we support school system operations through these challenges, helping them improve remote and hybrid learning, enhance literacy and numeracy rates, and support teachers and administrators while meeting the needs of vulnerable students. Our insights and services provide the data, research, and implementation to help support early childhood and school systems and ensure that every child can thrive now and into the future.

What we do

Technology in education

Improving the quality of teaching and student experiences through the use of the right technologies

Learning recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic

Creating strategies that help education systems reopen safely and allow students to catch up on unfinished learning

Mental health and social and emotional learning

Helping institutions improve whole-child education, including creating support systems covering prevention, identification, access, and care

Literacy and numeracy

Increasing literacy and numeracy rates through a combination of scripted lesson plans and teacher coaching

Private-sector engagement

Identifying opportunities for engagement with the private sector to enhance student outcomes that include impact investing, public-private partnerships, and innovative finance

Supporting teachers and building leaders

Supporting education systems to recruit, develop, and retain excellent teachers and administrators through training programs, hiring strategies, and continued education planning; and increasing literacy and numeracy rates through a combination of scripted lesson plans, teacher coaching, and other essential support systems

Examples of our work

Doubling primary literacy and numeracy rates

Supporting a national educational program in developing and launching a plan that doubled literacy and numeracy rates within a year through improved teacher support, teaching materials, and access to learner data

Scaling up personalized learning in five US districts

Alongside local partners, developing tailored and comprehensive strategies for large-scale personalized learning, which reached 25,000 students in the first 24 months and is on track to reach 250,000 within the next five years

UNESCO learning recovery

Partnering with UNESCO to create a comprehensive toolkit to help inform education policymakers around the world as they respond to the overwhelming crisis in education caused by the COVID-19 pandemic

Supporting COVID-19 recovery efforts for students in the United States

Partnering with school districts, state agencies, and not-for-profit partners to support work that accelerates learning and supports the broader well-being of millions of students throughout the pandemic

Empowering refugee women and children

Seeking to empower women and the estimated 500,000 children in refugee camps in Lebanon, developing a program to improve the classroom experience and education outcomes through curriculum development, teacher training, and broader school-governance initiatives in close collaboration with nongovernmental organizations  such as Alsama Project in Lebanon and the Sawiri school in Beirut and the Bekaa Valley

Featured Capabilities

Universal-scale benchmarking

Proprietary performance index and data-visualization tools drawing on local, national, and international assessments

Interventions explorer

A global database of more than 700 successful reform interventions and integrated strategies for improvement

K-12 diagnostics tool

A quantitative baselining tool that rapidly generates results and peer comparisons for states and districts across multiple dimensions that are critical to system success; the tool can also help illuminate equity differences among student populations, prompting system reflection and action

Featured Insights


COVID-19 and education: The lingering effects of unfinished learning

– US states and districts have the opportunity to not only help students catch up on unfinished learning from the pandemic but also tackle long-standing historical inequities in education.

Educating K–12 students amid COVID-19: The parental perspective

American parents paint a wide-ranging picture of how the pandemic has impacted their school-aged children, and offer clues on how to reset and recover.

Teacher survey: Learning loss is global—and significant

– While the education response to the COVID-19 pandemic has varied widely, teachers agree on the high cost of remote learning, especially for vulnerable students.

COVID-19 and learning loss—disparities grow and students need help

– The pandemic has set back learning for all students, but especially for students of color. Evidence-based acceleration approaches can help.

Reimagining a more equitable and resilient K–12 education system

– Responding to the changes that the COVID-19 crisis has wrought on education systems around the world requires building on what we know works, as well as looking ahead to what we know students will need.

New global data reveal education technology’s impact on learning

– The use of technology in education has become a lifeline during the COVID-19 pandemic. As students return to the classroom, school systems must carefully consider the longer-term role of technology.

How to improve student educational outcomes: New insights from data analytics

– By applying advanced analytics and machine learning, we have identified factors that play a critical role in student achievement.

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