Who We Are
The Jacksonville Public Education Fund is an independent think-and-do tank that believes in the potential of all students. We work tirelessly to close the opportunity gap for low-income students and students of color. We convene educators, school system leaders, and the community to pilot and help scale evidence-based solutions that advance school quality in Duval County.
We spark innovation, relationships and resources to power the potential within and around our public schools to achieve excellent outcomes for all students.
Every student is inspired and prepared for success in college or a career and life.
What We Do
As an independent think-and-do tank, the Jacksonville Public Education Fund leverages three key strategies to close the opportunity gap in Duval County: research and advocacy, convening partners, and strategic initiatives.
Research & Advocacy
To know where we’re going, we need to know where we are. JPEF’s research is widely respected for providing an independent analysis of student data and for highlighting innovative solutions for low-income students and students of color. JPEF pilots research-based best practices in direct partnership with public schools, including traditional and charter schools. We support teacher leaders and school leaders to adopt solutions for education equity and the retention of high-performing teachers. Then, we measure the results and build the case to bring these solutions to scale.
It takes a village to raise a child. It takes community partnerships to tackle systemic issues affecting students. JPEF serves as a research-led convener, bringing together school system leaders, partner organizations, funders, and the community to work on shared goals.
JPEF pilots research-based best practices in direct partnership with public schools, including traditional and charter schools. We support teacher leaders and school leaders to adopt solutions for education equity and the retention of high-performing teachers. Then, we measure the results and build the case to bring these solutions to scale.
Impact Area: Educators Who Lead
Research unequivocally shows the most important factor for student success in schools is the educators in those schools. That’s why JPEF believes we must support principals and teachers as effective leaders. School-based educators are best positioned to unlock the full potential of all students, no matter what they look like or where they come from.
Empowered and effective principals and teacher leaders – Professional learning and leadership development for principals and teachers is key to student results. Educators must be equipped with the latest skills and strategies to drive great outcomes for students. In addition, innovative models across the nation have shown that high-quality school principals can produce great results with more autonomy that empowers decision-making at the school level.
More teachers and leaders of color – A growing body of evidence shows that the race of educators matters to student outcomes. Teachers and principals serve as role models for students, and research has shown outcomes for students dramatically improve when they have the opportunity to learn from educators who look like them. In Duval County, only 36 percent of our instructors were teachers of color, while students of color made up approximately 64 percent of our student body (2015-2016).
IMPACT AREA: Students ready for success in the 21st Century
The world is changing, and schools need to adapt to make sure students are prepared for success when they finish their K-12 schooling. Students need both hard and soft skills to be productive citizens in the globalized economy.
Supporting the whole child – Cognitive science has revealed that academic achievement is rooted in social and emotional well-being. Trauma-informed practices, culturally responsive classrooms, and social emotional skills can help students succeed, no matter what challenges they’re facing in life.
Closing the literacy gap – Literacy, especially third-grade reading scores, is one of the best predictors of success in school and life. Yet data shows we are failing too many children, especially children of color. Based on state test results, more than 35,000 Black students were reading below grade level in Duval County in 2019.
Student skills for the future – The economy is changing, and students need opportunities to learn skills for the jobs of the future. Critical thinking, science and technology and workforce preparation are all pieces of the puzzle. Students must see clear and connected pathways from their K-12 schooling to careers in the workforce.