Our partnerships are successful because we know that school improvement efforts are complex and require a throughline between data measures, instructional shifts, and leadership practices. Our research-based frameworks and resources provide structure for our collaborations, enabling them to be dynamic, impactful, and tailored to partner strengths and needs.


Centering the student experience:

  • Do my teachers know how I feel about my learning?
  • Do I believe I can succeed?
  • Are learning experiences aligned with my strengths and needs?
  • Am I valued as more than just a test score?

Our Liberatory Data approach:
Considering student perspectives in school success metrics

"We created and validated the Student Experience Survey to uplift student voices and center their experiences in ways that feel valuable, particularly to students from historically marginalized communities. Survey results help start important conversations, such as ‘who is school currently working for?’ and ‘how can we improve learning experiences for all students?’"

Karina Rodriguez, Director of Research & Analytics

Liberatory thinking is “the re-imagining of one’s assumptions and beliefs about the capabilities of oneself and others” (Chicago Public Schools Equity Toolkit). A liberatory data approach builds awareness of how student perceptions of their learning experiences can elevate powerful improvement priorities that improve belonging, confidence, engagement, growth, and proficiency.

Throughline Learning data tools and protocols help teachers and leaders:

  • Design student-centered learning environments
  • Uncover root causes of inequitable outcomes
  • Identify and prioritize instructional practices within Throughline Learning’s Culturally Responsive & Sustaining Pedagogy (CRSP) framework
  • Better understand how their biases and lived experiences connect to their beliefs and expectations of students
  • Promote positive outcomes for both students and teachers.
teacher explaining lesson to students

"It is essential that our students feel seen, heard, and valued."

2023 Partner Teacher

“Student Experience Survey results have really opened my eyes to how my students are feeling about learning.”

2023 Partner Teacher


Centering the student experience:

  • Do my teachers know and affirm who I am?
  • Do I believe that I am academically capable?
  • Am I developing strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills?
  • Am I applying my learning to improve my communities?

Our Culturally Responsive & Sustaining Pedagogy framework:
12 Practices that elevate students' natural competence and confidence


"Let’s build empowering classrooms where we leverage student interests and identities and develop their natural curiosity. Let’s create spaces where students collaborate, learn, and design opportunities to improve their communities and make the world a better place.”

Malika Ali, Chief Innovation Officer

Our Culturally Responsive & Sustaining Pedagogy (CRSP) framework anchors all work at Throughline Learning. Combining principles of cultural responsiveness, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), higher-order thinking, and Social Emotional Learning (SEL), the framework is grounded in work of Geneva Gay, Gloria Ladson-Billings, Zaretta Hammond, Sami Alim, and Django Paris.

Practices within our four domains build on each other, establishing a foundation for powerful instruction that strengthens student confidence, competence, mastery, and empowerment.


"I know that representing my students in the curriculum is important, and now I have the skills and tools to determine the gaps that need to be filled in the materials I am given. This makes me a more effective educator and my curriculum more relevant to my individual students."

2023 Partner Teacher

"Our PLC was a great opportunity to work with colleagues within and across schools. Hearing about successes from other teachers was fantastic. The coaching strategies we tried were helpful ways to get kids thinking, strategizing, and recognizing that we all make mistakes and all need to learn ways to get out of being stuck."

2023 Partner Teacher


Centering the student experience:

  • Am I set up for success?
  • Do school improvement priorities align with my priorities?
  • Do I have the opportunity to participate in school improvement decisions?
  • Does my school partner with my community to improve school culture and student learning experiences?

Our Inclusive Change process:
A roadmap for supporting meaningful, sustainable school improvement


"Our communities have the expertise to solve their own problems — we need to focus on removing the barriers that prevent families from engaging deeply in school improvement efforts. Sustainability comes from aligning school priorities with community strengths and values.”

Shawn Rubin, Executive Director

Effective leadership practices are at the core of any successful school improvement effort. At Throughline Learning, we prioritize the following:

  1. Any change effort must have a clear leader with authority and decision-making power who believes in the work, communicates effectively, and builds consensus with stakeholders.
  2. Improvement work has a much greater chance of success when teachers, families, and community members join administrators at the decision-making table.
  3. A liberatory approach to collecting and analyzing data should support initial needs assessment work as well as ongoing continuous improvement cycles to determine evidence of impact.
  4. Clear accountability structures must in place to successfully replicate and scale high-impact changes.

Our strategic leadership services center on coaching, inclusive design teams, meaningful family engagement activities, and community educator projects.

"By facilitating with love and instilling hope, the Throughline Learning team has impacted teacher conversations, instructional practices, and student experiences. It's some of the best work I've undertaken.”

School Leader, Partner 2020-Present 

Community Educators

Community Educator Concept

We are training talented adults from local school communities for student-facing roles as mentors, tutors, and success coaches.

Learn more