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Program Details

Grant Program: Improving Education Systems: Policies, Finance, Organization, Management, and Leadership
Contacts: Dr. Corinne Alfeld
(202) 987-0835

Dr. Haigen Huang
(202) 987-0371

PDF File FY 2025 84.305A (PDF: 745 KB)
MS Word FY 2025 84.305A (DOC: 282 KB)

The Improving Education Systems: Policies, Finance, Organization, Management, and Leadership (Systems) topic supports research on system-level education improvements at the school, district, state, or national level. Systems projects explore, develop, measure, or evaluate specific practices, programs, and policies intended to improve education at the system level or to improve the system's ability to implement reforms. Examples include preparation of education leaders, evaluating approaches to district or school organization or funding, measuring school climate, developing strategies for re-engaging students and families, and testing wraparound service models.

The Systems topic was introduced in 2004 as the Education Finance, Leadership, and Management topic. In 2007, the name was changed to Education Policy, Finance, and Systems. In 2012, the name was changed to Improving Education Systems: Policies, Organization, Management, and Leadership. The following topics were also competed in previous years and are now consolidated into the Systems portfolio (and are therefore included in the grant numbers in the previous section): High School Reform, Middle and High School Reform, and Education Leadership.

Systems researchers have explored, developed, and tested for efficacy a number of policies and programs intended to improve education outcomes for large numbers of students, schools, or districts.

Why is Systems Unique?

Why is Systems Unique? The Systems program focuses on broad, systems-level interventions at the school, district, state, and national levels. Research supported under the Systems topic has the potential to identify the types of policies and systems that are beneficial for large numbers of students, the necessary conditions to support systemic improvements, and the factors that may enhance or impede systems-level change.


The long-term outcome of research under the Systems topic will be an array of practices, programs, and policies that improve the operation of districts and schools in ways that improve student academic outcomes. The outcomes of Systems research are especially important under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which requires education leaders to make evidence-based decisions when selecting policies and programs to implement in their states and districts.


Research Programs

Research and Development Centers

Regional Education Lab (REL) Programs

National Center for Education Statistics Programs