Our Mission

Eskolta School Research and Design is a nonprofit organization dedicated to working with urban schools to help vulnerable youth reach their full potential. We work alongside educators to make their schools student-centered through a strategic process of participant-driven, data-informed school improvement.

 

The Challenge

Across the United States, more than half a million students drop out of high school every year. We can and must do better. Schools must offer cultures, practices, and strategies to re-engage students who have been left behind, to become student-centered and motivating for youth who have found themselves the victims of repeated failures, of discrimination both intended and unintended, of low expectations both expressed and implied. While many factors contribute to this problem, it is a reality in American public education that students who have fallen behind are disproportionately in families with low incomes and disproportionately members of communities that have been on the wrong side of inequities and injustice in our society, including people of color, recent immigrants, and members of the LGBTQ community. Structures within public education often reflect systems of oppression in our nation as a whole, where racism, classism, xenophobia, homophobia, and sexism contribute to struggles in school. The schools that serve students who are behind are too often regarded as broken or blamed for problems when in fact talent and hope, pride and potential reside behind the walls of these schools.

 

At Eskolta, we believe that our education system—imperfect though it may be—represents the key means of inspiring, equipping, and empowering young people to build a better future. Through our work, we aim for teachers and students to be supported and valued, affording them the opportunities and capacity to succeed.

Eskolta [es·KOL·te]: (n.) 1. A phonetic combination of the Latin words for school (schola) and listen (ausculto)
2. An organization dedicated to listening to the people in schools in order to help schools learn.

We help schools redefine learning

The best educators know that learning will always be more than what appears on standardized tests. Together we are creating new metrics and new ways to support not only college and career readiness but also character, community, and compassion in our students.

We help schools make sense of data

A wealth of information is available to schools, but if not understood, it is useless. Through our research and analysis, we work with educators to make sense of data and turn it into a guide to inform change.

We help schools turn around the dropout problem

We focus on supporting students who have struggled in urban public schools in the past. Every child deserves a quality education and these students are most at risk of dropping out and missing out on their potential.

We help schools reinvent themselves

Using our EDUCATE methodology, we work alongside educators to strategically research and reimagine the systems in their schools, then carefully design, prototype, and expand them to reach more students.