Home: Center for Public Research and Leadership

Revitalizing Public Education While Reinventing Professional Education

The Center for Public Research and Leadership (CPRL) at Columbia University strives to revitalize public school systems while reinventing professional education. CPRL conducts high-impact research and consulting projects for our clients in the education sector and provides rigorous coursework, skills training, and real world experiential learning for our graduate students who attend programs at Columbia University and across the country.  

Since our founding in 2011, CPRL has provided research and consulting support to state agencies, school districts, charter school organizations, foundations, and advocacy groups, completing 200 projects and counting. More than two-thirds of CPRL's 500-plus alumni work in education and other public-sector leadership and management roles.

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In the News

Curriculum-based professional learning is a young and growing field that shows great promise in increasing teacher effectiveness, write CPRL's Elizabeth Chu, Grace McCarty and Molly Gurny in the latest issue of Learning Forward's Learning Professional journal. CPRL's recent research has found the need for more research on this type of professional learning; policies to increase the adoption and implementation of high-quality curriculum and curriculum-based professional learning; and increased access to curriculum-based professional learning for schools and school systems.

Read the full article. 


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Featured Publications


For more than 10 years, the Great Oaks Foundation (GO Foundation) has delivered its distinctive approach to high-dosage tutoring with the Great Oaks Fellowship Program (GO Fellowship Program). CPRL's latest report depicts the GO Foundation’s strategic efforts to implement a more standardized GO Fellowship Program to strengthen its impact on its tutors, students, and school communities. 

Read the report

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In summer 2021, CPRL resumed its annual Evolutionary Learning Institute. The event prepares organization leaders and managers to design, implement, and grow their own improvement efforts, using our disciplined approach to incremental and responsive change. Generous support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York allows CPRL to offer this event free to organizations working in school systems or related sectors.

Learn more about Institutes and other events


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Featured Alumni


Paul Bolaji's experiences on his CPRL project (2015) continue to shape how he thinks about and builds consensus across diverse groups of stakeholders. Bolaji, currently a rising sixth-year associate at the New York City-based multinational law firm Skadden, shares his reflections on stakeholder engagement and more as a part of our series "In Their Own Words..."

Read the alumni profile