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.

As debate intensifies about the direction of a reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act, BBA urges a return to the civil rights orientation of the original legislation. 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

  • 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.

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 info@boldapproach.org

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