The Advanced Education Research & Development Fund (“AERDF” pronounced air-diff) is a national nonprofit R&D organization launched in 2021. We build ambitious, inclusive three to five year programs with educators, researchers and developers, aimed at tackling major and persistent teaching and learning challenges that disproportionately affect Black and Latino students and students of all races experiencing poverty in grades Pre-K-12.
Each AERDF program builds on existing community-driven evidence and expertise as well as rigorous learning science to translate fundamental insights into usable knowledge, useful practices, equitable approaches and transformative tools for education practitioners and students.
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We build ambitious, inclusive three to five year programs with educators, researchers and developers, aimed at tackling major and persistent teaching and learning challenges that disproportionately affect Black and Latino students and students of all races experiencing poverty in grades Pre-K-12.
Our story begins with a powerful community-driven vision that formed in 2018: How could expanded research and development capacity in PreK-12 education catalyze tremendous progress against some of the longest standing systemic inequities that particularly impact Black and Latino students, and students experiencing poverty?
The goal was to demonstrate an approach to reduce the time it takes to translate research into breakthrough practices, programs, and products that better recognize the brilliance within every student and help them achieve their full potential.
A Request for Information, focus groups, and surveys were used in 2019 to ask education community members for ideas about intractable problems affecting students and how they would go about researching solutions.
The ideas submitted by many educators, researchers, and developers, among other experts, covered a broad range of subject areas. The first program to be adopted, EF+Math, under the leadership of educational neuroscientist Melina Uncapher and her team, launched with an aim to significantly increase the number of students in grades 3–8 in historically under-resourced schools who are proficient or advanced in math. A second program, Assessment for Good, helmed by assessment scholar Temple Lovelace, will seek to improve outcomes for students aged 8-13 by advancing the capabilities needed in a responsive and accessible system of identity-affirming, dynamic assessment, with a special focus on Black and Latinx learners. Reading Reimagined, our third program, under the leadership of curriculum expert Rebecca Kockler, will examine how all elements of reading instruction and social development must interact to support students to reach their full potential as readers.
In the future, AERDF will support several more research and development programs that will pursue ambitious goals and help push our understanding of what’s possible for student learning and opportunity.