About us

Eliminating educational inequities is necessary and possible

At the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership (CEL), we believe that all students can create limitless futures for themselves, their families, their communities and the world. We know that opportunity and outcome gaps can and must be closed — it’s a matter of equity — and we have identified what it will take for every student to succeed. The secret? Courageous leadership that produces cultures of rigorous teaching, learning and leading.

We are nationally recognized experts, with proven results. In school districts across the nation, CEL educators and professional learning have put knowledge and skills that improve student learning into the hands of classroom teachers. We work with the entire system, including the district office, the school level and the classroom, to ensure everyone is working as a team with a shared vision for student learning.

What We Do

Our Roots in Education Go Deep

The Center for Educational Leadership was founded in 2001 as a nonprofit service arm of the University of Washington College of Education, one of the top education schools in the country. Our faculty, staff and consultants come from research institutes, state education offices, school and district administration offices and K-12 and college classrooms.

Our History

An Unwavering Mission

We partner with courageous leaders in classrooms, schools and the systems that support them to eliminate educational inequities by creating cultures of rigorous teaching, learning and leading. Our North Star is a vision of transformed schools empowering all students, regardless of background, to create limitless futures for themselves, their families, their communities and the world.

CEL’s Stance on Equity

Equity is at the core of our mission here at the Center for Educational Leadership. For decades, too many school experiences have produced disparate learning outcomes for many students of color and students furthest from opportunity. We believe that these inequities can be eliminated when all students have:

  • Full access to quality learning experiences and powerful instruction daily.
  • Grade-level instruction on curriculum that is aligned to high academic standards.
  • Engagement with rigorous content and intellectual work.
  • Learning experiences that build on their culture, their personal experiences, and their learning and performance styles.
  • Engagement with authentic learning that builds their capacity to think critically, to use knowledge to create new knowledge, and to apply learning to real-world problem solving.

The research is clear and conclusive. The teacher is the most influential factor on student learning inside schools, and students must experience quality teaching consistently from year to year and from classroom to classroom to attain and sustain high levels of achievement.

At CEL, we use a number of research-based tools and processes as we partner with leaders at all levels of the educational system — the classroom, the school, the central office, the state — to support the creation of cultures of rigorous teaching, learning and leading to further our mission to eliminate educational inequities.