Get in Touch

Contact Us

We welcome the opportunity to partner with your district to better align resources and generate a significant impact for your students, your schools, and your communities.

What We Do

Tailored Strategies for Transformational Results

Our country needs strong urban school systems to ensure that all students reach their potential—but we believe districts must transform how they use resources in order to reach that goal. Our mission is to drive that transformation in three ways:

  • Consulting to Districts and States: We partner with district and state leaders to help them use the resources they have to get the results they want. We analyze an extensive set of data, and support the design and implementation of strategies that better align resources with student needs and district goals. Learn about our consulting practice.
  • Research and Tools: We empower education leaders to take action by widely sharing resources: research briefs, practical tools, training and case studies drawn from on our unique data set and on-the-ground experience. Learn about our research and tools.
  • Collaboration and Outreach: We collaborate with leading advocacy, reform, and training networks, as well as state and federal leaders, to build capacity and create the conditions for change. Learn about our collaboration.

We have developed a multi-dimensional vision for restructuring school systems: School System 20/20. Thus far, we have developed a specialty in three of the seven strategies:


We work with districts and states on ways to attract, retain, and develop an excellent teaching corps. This includes work on teacher compensation and career path; professional growth and support; and measuring teaching effectiveness, among other strategies.

 Funding and Portfolio 

We believe that school funding should be guided by three principles: equity, transparency, and flexibility. We work with districts to identify opportunities for improvement in those three areas, including, where appropriate, planning for Student-Based Budgeting models (also known as Weighted Student Funding).

 School Design

We define school design as the deliberate organization of a school's resources to optimize student outcomes, and have worked with districts and schools on their approach to teacher roles and assignments, flexible scheduling, creating effective teacher teams, and redesigning the central office to best support increased school autonomy—among many other possible strategies.

Explore more of our past work:
History and Impact »     District Partners »

 Our Approach

1) Consulting to Districts and States

ERS partners with school system leaders to help them transform how they organize resources—people, time, technology, and money—to improve student outcomes. We customize each engagement to district needs and priorities, working closely with the leadership team over one or more years. In some cases, we dive deeply into a specific topic; in others, we take a wide lens. We use an iterative and collaborative process that involves:

  • Analyzing Resources: ERS has developed a unique tool called the resource map, which enables us to analyze budget, staffing, schedule, and student performance data to understand how resources currently align with district goals. This process allows us to dive deeply into the data, as well as make comparisons to districts across the country in ways that no other organization can. Usually, this sheds light on previously unrecognized resource challenges.
  • Designing Strategies: Drawing on our resource map, comparative database, experience with other districts, and the most current research into school and system design, we identify where resources can be better matched with student and teacher needs, and ultimately drive student performance. With the leadership team, we plan how to shift resources toward identified strategies, or design new strategies entirely. 
  • Supporting Implementation: We provide planning and analytic support to district teams as they turn these new strategies into reality.

With our state partners, we typically focus on two areas: 1) Reviewing what resource-related data they require districts to report 2) Refining how they support low-performing districts, including policy changes that encourage district-level change. Some of our engagements are intensive, involving deep analysis of resource use across multiple districts; in others we provide advisory and capacity-building support. Contact us for more information on our consulting engagements.

2) Research and Tools

ERS has accumulated a wealth of data and insight into how large urban districts use resources—including best practices as well as common or unrecognized challenges. We share this evolving body of knowledge as widely as possible to district and state leaders, non-profits, advocacy groups, academic institutions, unions, and others through:

  • Research: Case studies, research briefs, videos, presentations,and data analysis that explore how resource decisions drive changes in student outcomes. See the latest resources in our library.
  • Tools: Interactive, practical tools and trainings that leaders can use to rethink budgets, assess resource use against best practices, examine tradeoffs, and build new visions for their communities. Our tools range from online “games” and interactive workshops, to simple self-assessments and worksheets. Explore our most popular tools.

3) Collaboration and Outreach

Transforming school systems across America is an enormous task, requiring effort from many minds and hands. We are part of an active community of leaders advocating for change: non-profit organizations, reform networks, advocacy groups, academic institutions, and state and federal actors. We collaborate to share research, support changes to policies, build capacity in current and future leaders, and encourage innovation. Join our community.