CEI Design Commitments
CEI’s six design commitments, embedded within all of our projects, define what we believe are critical levers for system transformation.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: For too long, education systems have produced reliable and significant gaps in achievement and growth for low-income students and students of color. CEI is committed to isolating race, class, gender, and language as opportunities to interrupt bias in the system; to supporting educators to redesign the systems that produce current results; and to developing mindsets, practices, and conditions that disrupt inequity.
Continuous Improvement and Change Management: Equitably developing outcomes at scale for all students requires educators at all levels of the system to have the mindsets, skills, and space to improve school and system practices. We are committed to supporting a combination of user-centered design and continuous improvement methods so educators are empowered to develop, implement, and sustain practices that demonstrate positive impact on learning.
Youth Activation: The outcomes we seek necessitate a shift in student empowerment – students will not achieve these outcomes without a combination of agency, power, and purpose in their learning. We are committed to partnering with and empowering young people to take agency in their learning, make learning relevant for themselves, and design their own learning experiences using the resources around them – and to studying what must shift in the skills of adults in schools to do this well.
Family and Community Partnership: Schools and systems should be co-created and designed with all members of the families and communities they represent. Research shows that this creates better outcomes, public trust, and innovation – and that the lack thereof inhibits scalable, sustainable, and successful change. We are committed to helping schools and districts evolve into open systems that organize around equitable outcomes rooted in the values of the community and partner with families and communities to deliver on public value.
Social Emotional Development (SED): Embracing an expanded definition of student success requires schools to not only name social emotional outcomes as integral to academic outcomes, but to implement practices to develop them for all students. We are committed to supporting schools and districts to create an ecosystem approach to SED, including: 1) learning environments that are psychologically and identity safe, relationship rich, and build SED skills; 2) multi-tiered systems of supports for struggling students and staff; 3) common, visible, and diverse student voice and student-adult partnerships; and 4) engagement of diverse families in the school’s SED vision.
Leadership: Research tells us the most critical factor in transformation is the quality of leadership. Leaders must demonstrate the mindsets and skills to carry out each of the aforementioned design commitments. We are committed to supporting school and district leaders to lead complex change that fosters shared expectations, intentional learning, and responsive support between schools and central offices in ways that scale, diffuse, and sustain practices.