About PreK-12 Education

Over the last century, the United States has made great strides in offering free and open public schooling for students across the nation from kindergarten through high school—many states have expanded access to pre-kindergarten as well. Our public schools, however, are providing educational opportunities to students of variable, and often questionable, quality. Many elements play a role, notably disparities in the quality of teaching and school leadership, inequities in funding, and discrepancies in academic rigor. The result: dashed aspirations of higher education and fulfilling careers for many, particularly the low-income students, students with disabilities, and English language learners that are often on the wrong end of these inequities.

New America’s PreK–12 team is taking a fresh look at these problems with a research-based and solutions-oriented approach grounded in principles of equity, efficiency, quality, and transparency. From educator quality, to school finance, to college- and career-ready standards and assessments, our team researches and analyzes existing federal, state, and local policies, investigates and highlights where promising practices already exist, and proposes innovative new approaches for the field.

We believe that all students need and deserve access to high-quality educators, accurate information about how well their schools are serving them, and appropriate coursework and information about what is necessary to succeed in college. Our work strives to help ensure schools are preparing students to succeed in college, careers, and civic life within the increasingly complex demands of 21st century society.