To ensure all children have the opportunity to succeed in school, research and discourse on effective education reform must expand beyond traditional notions of teaching and learning. A more comprehensive understanding of our educational system is needed; one that focuses on the delivery of resources, services, and supports that address children's needs both in-school (e.g. strong leadership, qualified teachers, challenging curricula, modern facilities) and out-of-school (e.g. safety, nutrition, health, enrichment). An overwhelming body of research has shown that socio-economic factors are strongly correlated with children's school readiness and ongoing success. While specific solutions for enhancing educational opportunity and related outcomes remain hotly contested, decision-makers must be willing to confront the role community and family life play in shaping learning experiences and think critically about the design and integration of policies that promote a broad foundation for success.
The Rennie Center's Opportunities to Learn study area examines policies and programs intended to provide all children with the full opportunity to realize their potential, including: student mobility, early childhood education, school choice, extended learning time, and full service schools and wraparound services.