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We're Different

The Center was founded in 1993 to bridge the gap between policy and practice and restore excellence to education. Today the Center is the pioneer and leading advocate for structural and sustainable changes that can dramatically improve educational opportunities in the U.S. We do that by primarily working to (1) generate and share leading ideas and information, (2) support and enable grassroots activism, and (3) protect and stimulate media coverage and issue accuracy.

We make a difference by:

  • Leveraging national credibility and connections, local relationships, and impact.
  • Delivering results in the halls of power and in the halls of local schools.
  • Focusing on structure and substance more than people and politics.
  • Defending facts, accuracy, and accountability in debate, measurement, and media coverage.
  • Serving as a clearinghouse for innovation in policy, implementation and measurement.
  • Being the most experienced leaders in Education Reform.

How can we help you? Check out our services below.


Media Impact:

At CER, we're not just content to be quoted in the news. We work hard to set the record straight. Time and again, we are featured prominently in the mainstream media, fighting for choices in education for America's students. Take, for example, this recent Op-Ed published in the New York Times from our President Jeanne Allen. Here, she sets apart facts from fiction when it comes to charter school funding. Need we say more?

Grassroots Impact:

At CER, we have a proud history of mobilizing the grassroots and leveraging real change where it matters most. Take the case of the Marco Island Public Charter School in Florida- a charter being denied access by local school board opposition. CER worked to connect groups on the ground in Florida, and advised them on tactics to secure high-level support in the offices of the state board of education. These key connections created the pressure necessary to thwart opposition to the Marco Island Academy’s opening. The charter school opened its doors in August of 2011.

Political Impact:

CER is a trusted advisor to policymakers across the states, and has worked hard with legislators to write laws that allow the growth of choice for the nation’s students and their families. For instance, this year, CER staff made over 10 visits to Harrisburg to help steer the Governor’s education plan, participated in over a dozen strategic conference calls held with key legislators regarding school choice legislation, and secured hundreds of supporters for hearings and rallies. Such activity, combined with press attention, has led to a highly realizable law in the Keystone legislature.


Working with leaders at the state and local level, our team of committed experts and advisors help to cultivate and secure lasting changes to laws by providing a wealth of talent and resources including:

  • Local market analysis
  • Access to new partners and allies
  • Leading proprietary research and publications
  • Sharing of best practices and tactics
  • Strategic support and reinforcement
  • Detailed campaign planning & coordination
  • Media relations & message development
  • Coalition building and grassroots support
  • Policymaker education & outreach


We are recognized for our leadership at state and local levels across the country, and our shared successes come from providing support and reinforcement in partnerships and relationships, rather than direction, from thirty thousand feet.

A national organization founded in 1993, CER is unconventional in its thinking, uncompromising in its values and unwavering in its commitment to ensuring that all parents have access to excellent schools for their children.