US Chamber of Commerce Foundation

America’s business community has a huge stake in the success of our students. As long-time partners to the US Chamber of Commerce foundation, we provide ongoing thought partnership and strategic counsel to the K-12 education team and contribute to the organization’s well-known Business Leads Fellowship Program, which trains business leaders to be education champions in their communities. The program currently includes over 400 current participants and alumni who serve as powerful advocates for education in their communities.

Beginning in 2022 and ending in 2023, the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation embarked on an ambitious effort to imagine the future of how we use assessments and hold our education system accountable.

The effort contributed to the field in several ways:

  • A Working Group, which included thought leaders with diverse perspectives informed by decades of experience in our education system. The Working Group spent time hearing from other experts in the field and wrestling with tradeoffs inherent in assessment and accountability policy and practice.
  • A report, authored by Dr. Dan Goldhaber and Dr. Michael DeArmond, revealed what we know and do not know about the last 20 years of education reform.
  • A Design Challenge, which awarded six winners with innovative thinking around how we improve public school accountability.

In addition, state, regional, and local chambers of commerce are important partners to the public education systems in their states and communities. For this reason, the Chamber Foundation also created a School Board Discussion Guide to help enable those productive conversations.

Gallup – Learning Heroes Report

Parents are doers and fixers, but they can’t be expected to solve a problem they don’t know they have. Almost 9 in 10 parents nationally think their children are on grade level, despite student achievement data that tells us only around a third of students are on grade level in reading and math. 

In fall 2023, Gallup partnered with Learning Heroes to better understand how parents perceive, evaluate and take action in support of their children’s academic progress. The study reports on a representative sample of nearly 2,000 parents of K-12 public school students nationwide, highlighting how parents view their child’s academic performance and suggesting that some parents are relying on a small subset of the measures needed to fully understand their child’s progress.

The resulting report, B-flation: How Good Grades Can Sideline Parents, reached 134 million families and engaged 11 million through 2,500 earned media placement and 1.9 million video views.

This research builds upon a decade of research on parent perceptions conducted by Learning Heroes, and Learning Heroes’ Go Beyond Grades public awareness campaign. 

This research would not have been possible without the vision and generosity of Citadel founder and CEO Ken Griffin and Griffin Catalyst. National partners, including the National Urban League, Univision, UnidosUS, National PTA,, US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, and UNCF were also integral to this effort.

Featured news coverage:

CurriculumHQ – Collaborative for Student Success

As long-time advisors to the Collaborative for Student Success, we support policy research and analysis as well as communications and advocacy strategy. Our team helps to maintain the CurriculumHQ platform with a 50-state map of efforts to improve access to high-quality materials for all students and educators. Waypoint partner Jocelyn Pickford is the expert blog voice on the platform elevating stories of how strong instructional practices are helping more students grow. We also support the Curriculum Catalyst Fellowship, a program of both the Collaborative and the National Network of State Teachers of the Year, to lift the voices of leading educators as advocates for high-quality curriculum and professional learning in their districts and states. 

Harvard’s Center for Education Policy Research – Education Recovery Scorecard

During the 2022-23 school year, students in many states made historic gains in math and reading following unprecedented learning loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, research from the Education Recovery Scorecard shows that they made up only one-third of the pandemic loss in math and one-quarter of the loss in reading. 

The Education Recovery Scorecard, a collaboration between Dr. Thomas Kane, Faculty Director of the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University and Dr. Sean Reardon at the Educational Opportunity Project at Stanford University, tracks math and reading achievement for individual districts in 30 states. The findings inspire both urgency and hope: urgency, because, as of Spring 2023 testing, students in 17 states remained more than a third of a grade level behind 2019 levels in math and students in 14 states remained more than a third of a grade level behind in reading. Hope, because the new data do, for the first time, highlight communities that have made substantial progress toward catching up. Drs. Kane and Reardon lead the national dialogue surrounding pandemic-induced learning loss and provide unparalleled insights to guide academic recovery efforts.

Coverage of the Education Recovery Scorecard includes more than 1,582 state and local press stories have been published covering the results across the country. National news coverage of their research includes:

Learning Heroes –
Go Beyond Grades Campaign

Families and teachers want real conversations about student progress. Go Beyond Grades is a national public awareness campaign that sounds the alarm about the gap between what parents think about their child’s learning and real student achievement scores. 

Created in spring 2023, Go Beyond Grades juxtaposes parent perceptions about their child’s learning and real student achievement scores, and connects families with local academic resources. It has touched down in Boston, Chicago, the District of Columbia, Houston, New York City, Sacramento County, St. Louis, and continues to spread to new communities across the country, such as Ft. Worth and rural Texas.

Almost 9 in 10 parents nationally think their children are on grade level, despite a steady stream of data that shows the reality of declining student achievement. Nationally, only around one-third of students are on grade level in reading and math. How is this possible? Learning Heroes’ research has shown that parents rely on report card grades as their primary source of information, and around 8 in 10 parents say their kids receive B’s or better.

Teachers say the number one way for parents to know how their child is achieving is to ask the teacher. So, we’re asking parents to go beyond grades by exploring our free tips and tools, and by teaming up with their child’s teachers.

Nationally, Go Beyond Grades has reached 82 million people through billboards in English and Spanish in our target communities; 346.8 million through the media and 34.2 million through digital ads; and 150,000 through our websites. Go Beyond Grades has touched down in Boston, Chicago, the District of Columbia, Houston, New York City, Sacramento, and St. Louis, and continues to spread to new communities across the country.

Featured news coverage:
National funders:
  • Citadel founder and CEO Ken Griffin and Griffin Catalyst (Spring and Summer 2023, Fall 2023)
  • Overdeck Family Foundation (Spring and Summer 2023)
  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Spring and Summer 2023)
  • Clear Channel Outdoor (in-kind support, Spring and Summer 2023)