4 Great Organizations Working To Improve Public Schools

Public schools in the United States continuously lose funding and have to fight against K-12 privatization. In addition, there is a heavy emphasis on test scores and academic performance that often neglects students' unique needs and individualism. Thankfully, many organizations exist to improve the schooling situation in the US. In no particular order, this list looks at several nonprofits and think tanks working to better the public education system for all.

First up, at #1, we present Grantmakers for Education, one of the United States' largest consortiums of philanthropists who focus on schooling. Founded in 1995 on the premise that collective insights, shared resources, and constructive collaboration enable individuals to make more intentional and impactful investments, the group aims to demonstrate the power of networks in effecting significant change.

Organizational members include the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs, the Mind Trust, and the Lumina Foundation. Grantmakers for Education publishes reports, case studies, policy updates, and field developments to help the public stay abreast of the latest news in the field of K-12 philanthropy.

The #2 entry is the Education Law Center. This organization's mission is to ensure access to quality public education for all children in Pennsylvania. It works toward this goal by focusing on the most under-served students: those living in poverty, children of color, individuals with disabilities, the homeless, LGBTQ youth, and more.

The Law Center's work focuses on several initiatives. These include holding officials and policymakers accountable to the laws protecting the educational rights of the most disadvantaged children; keeping local policies fair and aimed at ensuring equal access to quality schools; reducing disproportional treatment along race and class lines; and giving families both a voice in their children's education and the tools necessary to resolve problems they experience at school.

Up next, at #3, we have the Network for Public Education. This advocacy group was founded in 2013 by Diane Ravitch and Anthony Cody. Its mission is to preserve, promote, improve, and strengthen public schools for both current and future generations of students.

The goal of NPE is to connect all those who are passionate about schools, including students, parents, teachers, and community members. It strives to share information and research on vital issues that concern the future of public education whenever it is under attack. The Network speaks out against the demonization of teachers, the lowering of standards for the education profession, for-profit management of schools, and many other issues.

Rounding out our list at #4 is the Education Redesign Lab, headed by Paul Reville. Based out of Harvard's Graduate School of Education, it's focused on building a 21st-century engine for learning in order to restore social mobility, and ensure that all kids, especially those living in poverty, can reach their full potentials.

The organization calls for a comprehensive system of support and opportunities that begins in early childhood and continues through higher education and career training. To advance this vision, it focuses on three strategies: research, fieldwork, and movement building. EdRedesign partners with mayors, superintendents, and civic and community leaders to build integrated education and child development systems able to accelerate positive outcomes for low-income youth.