Making Sure that "All" Means All

By All Means illustration

What would it take to truly leave no child behind? It’s a question Professor Paul Reville is determined to answer as director of a multi-city initiative called the Education Redesign Lab, working to remake education systems to give every child the opportunity to succeed in education and life.

Paul Reville’s Education Redesign Lab is working with more than 50 communities across the country to rally the resources it takes to support every student — at school and beyond.

Launched in 2013, when Reville returned to HGSE after his tenure as Massachusetts secretary of education, the Lab’s goal was clear from the beginning: reshape education through research, field work, and collaborative movement-building, while taking into account the challenges today’s students face both in and out of the classroom.    

“We set out to change the conversation to something broader and bolder and to ask, 'How do we build systems that support students, families, and schools?'” says Reville. 

On average, schools consume 20% of a student’s waking hours, too small a time for interventions to overcome the vast and unique disparities that exist outside of the classroom. “We need school to look more like a healthcare system, not just prescribing one treatment for all students, irrespective of how they arrived,” says Reville. 

Today, the Education Redesign Lab works with hundreds of stakeholders and many thousands of students in communities across the country. Its By All Means initiative, launched in 2016, has partnered with mayors in nine communities — from Providence, Rhode Island, to Oakland, California — and to date has raised $35 million for community education investment. The Lab estimates that 230,000 children are benefitting from increased access to supports and opportunties in these cities.

The Lab has also worked with more than 50 communities to develop local Children’s Cabinets, comprising leaders and grassroot organizations committed to supporting young people. It convenes these leaders at HGSE annually to share resources and enhance collaboration. 

Each year, new leaders are entering the field engaged with the Lab’s mission, thanks to HGSE coursework in redesigning education, and policymakers and practitioners around the country are being empowered through toolkits and reports — more than 18 releases since 2014 — produced by the Lab. 

But there is still much to be done.  

“It’s going to take persistence and a lot more work to create a sense of urgency to care for other people’s children,” Reville says. “In America, we’re all about the myth of meritocracy, and if want to put that myth to rest, we need to build a system for real equal opportunity.” – Andrew Bauld

Learn More and Connect

Learn more about the Education Redesign Lab and watch a video with its founder and director, Paul Reville.

Explore the Lab's initiatives, including By All Means and the Local Children's Cabinet Network.

Read a Usable Knowledge piece by Paul Reville on the Lab's goals.