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 2013 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.

Following up on Rhetoric Trumps Reality, BBA offers an evidence-based exploration of lack of gains in DCPS under Rhee-Henderson reforms and questions to ask when 2014 "proficiency" numbers are released.

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.

    Learn More

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.

Americans believe in the ideal of equal opportunity and also believe that the best way to ensure that opportunity is to enable all children, regardless of their parents’ stations, to leave school with the skills that position them to compete fairly and productively in the nation’s democratic governance and occupational structure. The fact that children’s skills can so clearly be predicted by their race and family economic status is a direct challenge to our democratic ideals.

From Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic, and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap by Richard Rothstein

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.


Noncognitive Skills Merit More Attention in Education Policy Debates

Whether we call them “soft,” “behavioral,” or “life skills,” such traits as perseverance, the ability to work well with others, and effective communication are key not only to success in school, but to a productive life, including contributing meaningfully to community and society. Both research and common sense make this clear. What is less clear is exactly which changes in education policies and school practices can better support the development of these skills, and how we should measure, assess, and reward them in the school context. Join EPI and BBA to discuss these timely issues Tuesday morning, December 2.

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

Contact us at

Press inquires should be directed to:
Economic Policy Institute, Media Relations Department
(202) 775-8810 or