The Broader Bolder Approach to Education is a national campaign that acknowledges the impact of social and economic disadvantage on schools and students and proposes evidence-based policies to improve schools and remedy conditions that limit many children’s readiness to learn. Read the BBA Mission Statement and Accountability Statement to learn more. Use the BBA short video and infographic to spread the word.

With both houses of Congress poised to act on a reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act, BBA and key allies urge a return to the original civil rights intent of the law. This open letter draws on the February 2015 BBA statement on ESEA renewal. With student poverty at record high levels, there is a critical need for comprehensive supports to offset the multiple disparities impeding many children's ability to strive toward higher standards.

Check out the first in a year-long series of BBA podcasts that use interviews, stories, and data to establish the evidence base need for a comprehensive approach to education and programs and policies to advance that approach.

  • Quality early childhood education prepares children for kindergarten and establishes a strong, rich foundation for later development and learning.

  • Health and nutrition supports ensure that children come to school immunized, well fed, and without toothaches or acute asthma attacks that prevent them from focusing and learning.

    After- and summer-school enrichment provides space to do and help with homework, adult support and mentoring, and the academic, cultural, and recreational activities that are needed to develop creative thinkers, informed voters, and civic leaders.

  • Accountability systems support and enhance good teaching and leadership and offer effective ways of identifying excellent teachers to mentor peers and weak teachers who should switch jobs.

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BBA's Research Base

The BBA Bibliography provides synopses of seminal research works that demonstrate how living in poverty impedes educational attainment and the efficacy of a broader, bolder approach to education.

Reforming truly disadvantaged schools prove[s] especially nettlesome. Our findings represent a challenge to the prevailing political rhetoric that all schools can improve in their effectiveness. To be sure, we fervently want to believe these claims. But, we also now know that all schools do not start in the same place, and those that are truly disadvantaged have enormous barriers to overcome.

From Organizing Schools for Improvement: Lessons from Chicago by Anthony S. Byrk, Penny Bender Sebring, Elaine Allensworth, Stuart Luppescu, and John Q Easton

View the full BBA Bibliography

News Feature

  • August 11, 2014: Huffington Post

    Failure of D.C. Education Reform Initiatives Revealed

    By Elaine Weiss and Danyoung Kim

    This year's release of District of Columbia Public Schools standardized test scores came with much less fanfare than in 2013 -- growth in "proficiency" is smaller, and district leaders were recently called out for lack of transparency ... using averages to hide growing gaps. Ironically, given NCLB's goal of illuminating race- and income-based gaps, districts like DCPS feel pushed to create the appearance that reforms have worked by hiding growing disparities....Transparency, paired with comprehensive, whole-child strategies that can help produce meaningful gains for all students, would represent the real reform we have long sought.

Become a Signatory

In addition to the high-profile original signatories, many of whom helped to draft BBA's mission statement, hundreds of people from across the country who agree with BBA’s mission continue to sign on. Join them!

Broader, BOLDER Approach to Education

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