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. Access the new BBA report, Mismatches in Race to the Top Limit Educational Improvement, here. And access our April 2013 report, Market-Oriented Reforms' Rhetoric Trumps Reality, and executive summary, here.

  • 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.

At the federal and state levels, policymakers must continue to advocate for the expansion of community schools, even in the current climate of shrinking budgets and tight resources, to realize the potential that community schools have in influencing positive academic outcomes for students.

From Positive Student Outcomes in Community Schools by Sebastian Castrechini and Rebecca A London

View the full BBA Bibliography

News Feature

  • October 26, 2013: Washington Post Answer Sheet

    The real 21st Century Problem in Public Education

    By Elaine Weiss

    What if we have actually been teaching the right skills in U.S. schools all along – math and reading, science and civics, along with creativity, perseverance, and team-building? ... What if, rather than raising standards, and testing students more, the biggest change we need to address is that of our student body? The October 2013 Southern Education Foundation study indicates clearly that poverty, which has long been the biggest obstacle to educational achievement, is more important than ever. It is our true 21st century problem.


Screening Event: Rich Hill: Three Boys in Small Town America

Join BBA, EPI, and AASA for a film screening event exploring the impact of child, family, and concentrated poverty on school and community well-being. The Sundance award-winning documentary Rich Hill tracks a year in the lives of three youth and their families in a small Missouri town. Their struggles illustrate the challenges of housing instability, food insecurity, and stresses related to living in poverty that students like them across the country bring to school every day. Click here to rsvp.

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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Press inquires should be directed to:
Economic Policy Institute, Media Relations Department
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