Education and Society Program

The Aspen Institute Education & Society Program (Aspen Education) improves public education by inspiring, informing, and influencing education leaders across policy and practice, with an emphasis on achieving equity for students of color and children from low-income backgrounds. Aspen Education supports leaders at all levels, from networks of urban superintendents and their teams, to state chiefs and their cabinets, to elected officials and their staffers. We convene groups that are diverse by design – policymakers and practitioners, union leaders and reformers, Republicans and Democrats – to question conventional wisdom, elevate evidence over ideology, and promote innovation that addresses vexing challenges. By providing off-the-record venues for authentic learning and honest dialogue, and producing a range of resources and tools, Aspen Education assists education leaders in designing, implementing, and continuously improving policy and practice.

Read more about our statement on equity here.

Our Priorities and Projects

Our work is focused on four critical priority areas:

  • Embracing a richer vision of student success that integrates social, emotional, and academic dimensions of learning into the fabric of schools and the student experience as essential to advancing equity;
  • Fostering coherence and continuous improvement practices at the system level which is vital to enabling a richer vision of student success to take hold and thrive;
  • Developing education leaders to more authentically engage communities, transcend political and ideological debates, and build diverse coalitions for transformation in learning;
  • Understanding and addressing poverty in America by fostering connections across education and: housing, health and nutrition, transportation, and criminal justice policy and addressing the impact of race and racism on opportunity in America.

We Serve Leaders in:

  • Urban public school district and charter management organizations;
  • State and Federal government
  • Education support organizations, associations and, nonprofits;
  • Philanthropy.