Public Understanding

Public Understanding


The Public Understanding portfolio is designed to increase the engagement of students, families, communities, educators, policymakers, and the general public in supporting an expanded vision of student success and to build public demand for an equitable, high-quality education system. Authentic engagement with families and communities in particular will be foundational, we believe, to transformative and sustainable change. Parents in particular need better ways to understand and engage with educators about how their children are performing and what it will take for them to be college-ready. Parents also need actionable tools and resources so they can help their children along this trajectory, instead of facing frustration and confusion as changes occurring in schools and classrooms — including higher standards, new learning techniques, better assessments, and the expectation that all students need at least some postsecondary education — increasingly diverge from parents’ own experiences.

The Public Understanding portfolio pursues four major goals: 

  • Supporting research on strategies that can drive parent and family engagement in education at the local level
  • Developing tools and resources to help parents understand and support the learning progress of their children 
  • Increasing productive dialogue about improving public education among parents, students, and educators, and other stakeholders
  • Moving public discourse forward regarding important shifts in the educational landscape
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