Improving K-12 Education

Focus is on teacher development, leadership and policy research


Three centers are leading University efforts to improve K-12 education by enhancing policy analysis, educational leadership and teacher professional development.

The Center for Education Policy Analysis is under the direction of Susanna Loeb, professor of education, and Eric Hanushek, the Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. They recently participated in a series of studies that revealed California’s school finance and governance system needs to be overhauled if students are to achieve high academic standards.

The Center for Leadership in Education initiated the Principals Fellows Program, a collaboration among the School of Education (SUSE ), the Graduate School of Business and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design to promote leadership in early career principals. The center also is continuing work to support educational reform.

Teachers will be helped to enrich their understanding of the subjects they teach and offered strategies to engage learners under the new Center to Support Excellence in Teaching.

In 2008, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation chose SUSE to participate in its National Teaching Fellowship Program for undergraduates who earn a master’s degree and commit to working in underserved schools.

The John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities, also key to Stanford’s K-12 initiative, received a $4 million gift from the Walton Family Foundation. Resources provided by the University helped establish an $8 million endowment for the center, which encourages youths to engage with their communities.

The K-12 initiative has also funded multidisciplinary faculty teams working on such projects as creating a website to support the teaching of human genetics to high school students, establishing an outreach program at Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station and developing a program to help elementary school teachers integrate the arts into their teaching.