Keystone Policy Center is working at the forefront of efforts to expand access to quality education, improve student outcomes, and plan for the challenges of an evolving global economy. Keystone partners with educators, policymakers, communities, and industry leaders as they increasingly focus on the challenge of ensuring all students are prepared for tomorrow’s opportunities, with equitable access to a high-quality education that prepares them for the college or career path of their choice.

Keystone offers experience and expertise in designing and convening productive conversations among diverse stakeholders on a wide array of complex issues in education policy and practice. Spanning all levels of education from early childhood to post-secondary, Keystone’s education projects address a range of objectives including preparing and supporting the educator workforce, increasing access to high-quality courses and instruction that prepare students for success, supporting development of innovative learning experiences that meet the varied needs of students, and facilitating effective engagement of families and other stakeholders in the education system.

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Featured Projects

Colorado Educator Preparation Innovation Coalition

Although Colorado has made tremendous strides in supporting great teaching and improving outcomes for kids, many state policies governing who trains teachers and how they do so have remained largely unchanged and driven by a series of inputs. Existing policies are viewed by some as overly prescriptive for preparers and candidates alike. These policies have not been shown to improve the effectiveness of new teachers entering the profession. Current policies create barriers to entry for some candidates and limit preparers’ abilities to explore innovations in preparation practices. Onerous requirements can limit the types of people who are interested or able to become teachers or preparers of teachers.
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Massachusetts Educator Licensure

The Keystone Policy Center worked at the behest of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education — and in partnership with TNTP (formerly known as The New Teacher Project) — to identify ways of aligning teacher licensure with the state’s educator quality standards to support student success. Through focus groups and regional meetings around the state, Keystone solicited and analyzed the perspectives of teachers, administrators, preparation program leaders and faculty, school support personnel, and district personnel to inform the design of potential changes in policy and practice.

Colorado Blended Learning

Keystone Policy Center developed a statewide roadmap to assist Colorado educators, district leaders, and state policymakers support and expand the use of blended learning — a teacher-led instructional method or strategy that combines classroom and digital learning, and through which students have some control over when, where, and at what pace they learn. Keystone worked with education leaders, teachers, and members of the public to develop the roadmap, including hosting more than a dozen meetings across Colorado, utilizing an online survey, and conferring with experts in other states.

Louisiana Teacher Preparation

At the behest of the Louisiana Department of Education and supported by a grant from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation, the Keystone Policy Center is facilitating discussions with Louisiana educators to inform proposed changes to state education policy. Specifically, Keystone convened focus groups and outreach sessions between November 2014 and April 2015 across Louisiana to gather and synthesize perspectives of university, district, and school leaders on how best to enhance teacher preparation.

University of Colorado - Boulder campus

Colorado Higher Education Funding

Focused on making higher education funding more understandable and accountable for Coloradans, the Colorado General Assembly passed House Bill 14-1319 to kick start a statewide conversation about a new base funding formula that considers role, mission, and performance. The Keystone Policy Center and Engaged Public partnered with the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) in 2014 to facilitate stakeholder engagement and a public input process to confront this long-term, systemic issue. The process solicited input through key informant interviews and stakeholder meetings in 16 communities with more than 400 attendees.

Keystone’s collaborative process resulted in recommendations for a new funding formula to better allocate state general fund dollars among the state’s public institutions of higher education. The state is in the process of implementing the new formula that Keystone’s work and outreach yielded.