CEP's Theory of Change

Center on Education Policy Newsletter


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CEP's Theory of Change

Everything CEP does rests on the bedrock principle that equitable access to high-quality public education is a right and a necessity for a well-functioning democracy. Our public schools play a vital role in educating youth on how to be good citizens. And our public-school systems provide an essential forum for civic engagement from parents, civic groups, community leaders and others. In short, our system of public schools is essential infrastructure for our system of democracy.

Since public funding, supportive public policies, and other resources are essential ingredients to ensure the health of our public schools; policymakers play a critical role in all aspects of public education. Their decisions can spell success or failure. So, it’s essential that policymakers understand the role and value of public education in a civil society. Local control is the hallmark of public education systems in the U.S. so parents and community leaders have an important role to play. Local stakeholders can demonstrate their commitment to public education by demanding that policymakers give school systems the support and funding required to deliver high-quality education.

In addition to being worthy recipients of support, public schools must be challenged to excel and to use their resources well. Thus, at the center of CEP’s theory of change is a public policy environment that both supports public education as a key force for producing educated, engaged citizens, while simultaneously challenging school systems to sustain high levels of academic quality and performance. And a policy environment that sustains universal access to public education.

Theory of Change