Bold Ideas

Innovative ways to tackle big challenges in education

Communities, schools, and families are grappling with profound challenges: school safety and health. social-emotional well-being. societal and racial inequity. At the Johns Hopkins School of Education, our researchers bring the best expertise, dig into the evidence, and uncover surprising new possibilities. Here are some of our bold ideas—and the researchers behind them. 

Annette Anderson

Build trust among school families by providing consistent messaging.

The Johns Hopkins eSchool+ Initiative’s state-by-state dashboard of COVID-19 policies and vaccination progress guides policymakers, educators, and families as they navigate a return to classroom education.

Robert Balfanz

Jumpstart high school success with social-emotional learning.

Backed by a five-year, $5.8 million federal EIR grant, Everyone Graduates Center Director Robert Balfanz and his team are building “Skills for Secondary School Success” to give eighth graders the critical social-emotional learning skills they need to succeed in high school and beyond.

Lieny Jeon

Improve early education by caring for the caregivers.

Jeffrey A. Grigg Associate Professor Lieny Jeon leads a team of Johns Hopkins experts in a first-ever federal study of burnout among Head Start teachers—some of the most overburdened educators today. The $2.1 million, five-year study will look at the causes of burnout and effective programs to beat it.

Odis Johnson

To improve math scores, take a long, hard look at school surveillance.

Does your school’s surveillance system protect students—or punish them? An NSF-funded study by Odis Johnson, a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor and executive director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Safe and Healthy Schools, shows that high surveillance can lead to more suspensions, lower math scores, and less chance of attending college.

Richard Lofton

Make better education policy by listening to students and families.

The “Nobody Asked Me” campaign builds on personal interviews with those whose voices are rarely heard in Baltimore’s education debate—students and families. The campaign’s lessons provide key context to quantitative data and help district leaders and policymakers shape better policies that serve all involved.

David Steiner

After a pandemic, don’t remediate. Accelerate.

To counteract pandemic-associated learning loss, Johns Hopkins education policy expert David Steiner urges schools to accelerate: Keep students working at grade level rather than repeating the lessons they missed.

The schools, organizations, and communities we serve are confronting complex, far-reaching problems, and tackling them requires deep, empirically informed change. It takes bold ideas—backed by evidence.

Christopher C. Morphew
Dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Education

Dean Morphew Portrait




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