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Discover Assessment for Good, EF+Math, and Reading Reimagined the first three programs in AERDF’s multi-year effort in Advanced Inclusive R&D.


We ground our approach in Advanced Inclusive R&D where we engage a community of learners, educators, researchers, developers, and more from the beginning in shorter cycles of innovation with clear, ambitious goals to achieve a breakthrough.

Through our unique Advanced Inclusive R&D approach, AERDF programs, with budgets up to $25 million, orchestrate an actively managed portfolio of R&D projects that are scoped beyond what can practically be explored with a single grant. AERDF programs focus on opportunity spaces that are:

  • Under-explored and with strong potential for major breakthroughs, unlocking significant new capabilities that would propel multigenerational change in our US PreK-12 education system. 
  • Critically important for Black and Latino learners and learners experiencing poverty, furthering their brilliance and transforming their education experiences.
  • Ideally explored by a cross-sector community whose diverse expertise, perspectives, and resources catalyze progress in a way no one could achieve on their own.

Advanced Inclusive R&D

Influenced by the ARPA model (Advanced Research Project Agency), AERDF focuses on advanced R&D for scientific discovery and invention. We believe R&D, if led inclusively, can be an engine of innovation that brings together educators, researchers, and product developers to better define problems together and actually co-develop solutions through ongoing rapid-cycles of design, measurement, and evaluation.


It is through partnerships and “bridges” in the ecosystem that we steward our generalizable knowledge, insights, and solutions into the real world for others to carry forward, sustain, and adopt.

AERDF’s Advanced Inclusive R&D approach builds on community connection involving everyone from the classroom to the boardroom, early and often, so they become an interwoven team. Community center tutors can become impactful researchers. Their knowledge—and feedback and ideas—bond learning science to the real world. First-grade educators become rigorous evaluators. Caregivers are developers. School board members are builders. They can all help create new solutions to long-standing challenges and change the inequitable status quo in current PreK-12 education. When that happens, R&D can have a wider and deeper effect on education—and on society overall.

Since our 2021 launch, our Advanced Inclusive R&D programs – currently focused on math, formative assessment, and reading – have engaged more than 20,000 students.

Key Policies



AERDF is committed to ensuring the breakthroughs developed in its Advanced Inclusive R&D programs are made available to as many of learners as possible. For more information, please see our Global Access Commitment.



We issue awards to established organizations that have extensive experience working with and protecting student information (e.g., universities that mandate security standards). Adoption of ethical security and privacy standards is a critical consideration guiding decisions about which organizations we fund. We are currently finalizing shared policies and practices with funded teams to ensure all funded teams have the conservative and secure practices required to protect student information, and that these practices are clearly defined within our privacy terms. If you are interested in learning more about these standards, please contact us at to learn more or receive a copy of our policies and procedures.



AERDF conducts and supports equity-centered Advanced Inclusive R&D projects in a variety of educational areas. AERDF projects frequently make use of educational technologies and cutting-edge research approaches, and are always centered in approaches that further the brilliance of Black and Latino students, and students experiencing poverty. Read More.

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