On one of my first trips to the Portland office I noticed a small plaque on the first floor that read:
“NWEA is committed to providing the data and analysis that truly catalyzes kid-centric education. Our research and advocacy efforts allow us to positively affect legislation and public policy at every level, always with an eye for what kids need to succeed in the world they will inherit.”
These words explain the value of policy and advocacy which remain at the core of the vision, mission, and day-to-day work of NWEA. As such, our policy team aims to engage in, communicate, advocate for, and support actionable policy solutions. Our goal is to align our internal expertise and capacity for growth with educators, leaders, and policymakers who are engaged in the challenging educational landscape today. Ultimately, we are working to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion at the intersection of research, practice, and policy.
Given that the work of NWEA is deeply affected by education policy, our employees and partners are continuously aware of the value that policy and advocacy has across our organization. NWEA’s heritage and expanding capacity in research, innovation, and partnership is strong and we can use those areas to lean on the necessary policy levers that will change the problematic narratives about teaching, learning, and assessment. In addition to elevating these core strengths, our policy and advocacy work will also develop and foster a network of transformational partners in the policy-space. These coalitions will help us articulate and drive our research and innovation in ways that will inform education policy agendas and advocate for higher expectations around a common vision for the future of assessment.
To that end, NWEA recently hosted a Research Launch Reception – Innovation, Research, and Advocacy: Designed with Equity in Mind in Washington, D.C. At this event NWEA established a new commitment to advancing equity and equitable student outcomes.
NWEA CEO, Chris Minnich shared the powerful mission and vision of NWEA under his leadership.
I hosted a panel discussion with the leads of our Research and Innovation Centers about how their centers are unique and, also aligned around various educational challenges regarding policy and equity.
Most importantly, across the research and policy influencers that attended the reception, we’ve established new lines of inquiry, partnerships, and an increased potential for coalition building that support our mission and vision to help all kids learn.
This event was an important first step for our research, product, and policy efforts that aligned two key organizational priorities: advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion and providing evidence-focused policy solutions. Through this type of communication and engagement work we will continue to focus on actionable policy platforms regarding areas like high-quality assessment, empowering educators and leaders, and promoting early learning opportunities. In our initial meetings with policy stakeholders at the state and federal levels we have heard anticipation, excitement, and passion for this renewed policy and advocacy direction. To maintain and grow this momentum, our goal is to develop internal coordination and collaboration alongside transformational external partnerships that will drive policy solutions.