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Who We Are

Gina Burkhardt

There is so much at stake when a child enters school. School influences a student's self-perception, vision of the future, and the actual opportunities that will be made available. There is a measure of hope and trust that go in the door with each child, whether it is the first day of Kindergarten or the first day of 10th grade. We hope it will be the right fit and that students will absorb everything they can. We trust that teachers and principals will cultivate the potential in front of them and push themselves and their students to accomplish things that seem just out of reach. Some schools have to achieve that and more, lifting students across the divide between a community isolated by poverty and violence and a future of security and promise.

Being an educator is a great responsibility. At Learning Point Associates, we accept responsibility in order to deserve the trust that has been placed in us and our work. Our goal is to bring the learning point—that magic "aha" moment when the concept clicks for the learner—faster, more often, and for more students. We do this by adding valuable research to the field, connecting policymakers with the latest research and practical experience, generating feedback from rigorous evaluations for continuous improvement, and working directly with educators to improve what is happening in the classroom, the school, and the district. Our work is centered around three principles: insight, innovation, and impact.

Insight
Insight is in our name. That moment when we understand something that was eluding us, when we get it—that's the learning point. For a student, it can be when c-a-t becomes cat or when a word problem makes sense. For educators, it can be when they understand how to apply data to change curricula or policy to advance a reform effort. For Learning Point Associates, it comes from our direct work with educators who are dedicated to achieving results, from the findings of our evaluations and research studies, and from our own staff who represent some of the very best educators in the field.

Innovation
We apply new tools to solve enduring problems. There have always been schools that have failed to educate their students well. There have always been programs that have not achieved their desired results. What's different is the knowledge we bring to bear to solve these challenges. Some of our tools are high-tech, such as online shared networking spaces where data is stored and accessible for just-in-time decisions or curriculum mapping programs that plot what is being taught in the classroom against state standards and assessments. But, our tools aren't all high-tech because we believe that sometimes very simple innovations can conquer complex challenges. We look closely, listen to our clients, and develop a course of action with them that creates lasting results.

Impact
How do we know that our work makes a difference? It is a straightforward question that can be difficult to answer. Is the answer in the change in the number of students who are reading at grade level? Is it in the content of legislation passed by a state? Is it in the changes made to a program after the results of an evaluation? If the answer is yes, how do we isolate our role in the achievement?

Conversation regarding how to quantify impact is beginning to be heard throughout the field of education. I want Learning Point Associates to be a leader of this conversation. I have set answering these questions as the goal this year for the organization. We are determined to connect what we hear anecdotally with quantitative information so we can pinpoint our effectiveness and continue to refine our services to give educators what they need to make a difference in students' lives.

We are working every day to combine insight with innovation to achieve the impact our clients deserve and to deliver on our mission of ensuring an education system that works for all learners. We invite you to join us.

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Gina Burkhardt, CEO

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