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Silver Lining for Learning Episode #133 | December 17, 2022 | 5:30 PM Eastern

The Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE | is a research organization at Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. CRPE researches classrooms, schools, and systems to identify the systemic barriers to equity and excellence for every student and ways to overcome them. Since March 2020, CRPE has been the go-to source for high-quality research about the threats to student success and equity posed by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the innovations that have emerged from the crisis.

As they say on their website:

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed a hard truth: A rigid system designed more than a century ago is ill-equipped to meet students’ needs. Despite the heroic efforts of many educators, a system that left too many children behind in the best of times failed to serve them in crisis. We now have an opportunity to make dramatic improvements.

Our work has been a critical tool for educators, policymakers, journalists, and activists looking to hold leaders accountable and build a better future after COVID. We are the go-to source for quality research about school district plans, the threats to equity and school quality posed by the pandemic, and innovations that have emerged.

Some key reports and links

  • Tracking Pandemic Data: Data and analysis of pandemic plans from 100 large and urban districts that serve nearly 100 million students
  • Learning Innovations:  Findings and best practices from learning pods; learning hubs, and other pandemic innovations
  • Unique learners: Practices implemented during the pandemic that may better support students with disabilities.


Robin Lake

Robin Lake is director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) a non-partisan research and policy analysis organization developing transformative, evidence-based solutions for K–12 public education. Her research focuses on U.S. public school system reforms, including public school choice and charter schools; innovation and scale; portfolio management; and effective state and local public oversight practices. Lake has authored numerous studies and provided expert testimony and technical assistance on charter schools, district-charter collaborations, and urban school reform. She is the editor of Unique Schools Serving Unique Students: Charter Schools and Children with Special Needs and editor of Hopes, Fears, & Reality: A Balanced Look at American Charter Schools. She co-authored, with Paul Hill, Charter Schools and Accountability in Public Education. She has provided invited testimonies to the U.S. House of Representatives Education and Labor Committee as well as various state legislatures. She presents regularly at conferences and summits around the United States, and has advised on charter school implementation in South Africa and the United Kingdom. Lake serves as a board member or advisor to various organizations, including the Journal of School Choice, the National Center on Special Education in Charter Schools, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, and Education Next. She was named to the summer 2016 class of the Pahara-Aspen Education Fellows Program, designed to support exceptional leaders reimagining U.S. public schools.

Travis Pillow

Travis Pillow  is an innovation fellow and senior writer at the Center on Reinventing Public Education, where his work focuses on individualized learning and education solutions created by families, communities, and educators. He started his career as a journalist based in Florida’s capitol, covering politics, budgets, health care, and education policy for several online publications and Gannett newspapers. He later became editor of redefinED, a website chronicling the new definition of public education in Florida and elsewhere, and did other policy and communications work for Step Up For Students, the nonprofit that administers two of the nation’s largest private school choice programs.