The world of publicly funded education is comprised of numerous institutions, agencies, organizations, and regulatory bodies.  They range from schools and colleges to teacher organizations, to vendors of books and desks, to academic interest groups. All share in the growth and prosperity of the multibillion-dollar industry of which they are a part.  All are stakeholders in the industry’s successes and failures.

By contrast, the Education Consumers Foundation (ECF) is a non-profit organization that is financially and otherwise independent of the public education industry and its support groups.  ECF’s top priority is the aims and interests of the parties who rely on the services provided by schools, not the satisfaction of the persons and organizations that comprise the industry. ECF's overall aim is to improve education by empowering those who use and pay for it.

Our Independence and Commitment to the Consumer makes the Critical Difference

Consumers and providers in any market have competing interests.  Consumers are best served by full disclosure.  Providers are best served by a positive image.

Portrait of cheerful girl sitting in classroom while classmates in backgroundECF’s role is to cut through the blizzard of available information and provide consumers with facts and opinions focused on the consumer’s priorities and concerns. We are like Consumer Reports but focused exclusively on education policy,  practice, and outcomes.  

ECF takes a cautious view of innovation and advises the use of only those policies and practices for which there is credible empirical support and field testing—the same general approach taken by the federal What Works Clearinghouse.

 

What We Do

Group of students attending training course in a computer classroomWhether you are a parent who is trying to understand the style of teaching used in your child’s classroom or a school board member who is looking for a fair-minded assessment of a proposed remedial education program, we will point you to a competent expert resource that is unencumbered by the usual conflicts of interest. If your question can better be answered by experts outside our Network, we will help you find an expert resource that is free of the usual conflicts.

Skepticism is warranted.  Education has a long history of adopting programs and practices that turn out to be expensive, poorly tested, and ineffective or detrimental.  Called fads, they are often compellingly marketed but inadequately monitored and eventually replaced by some other promising nostrum.  In the absence of effective external oversight and accountability, they pose a continuing threat to schooling quality."

Our core mission is to be a consumer-friendly source of education facts, research, and policy analysis for parents, the public, and their elected representatives.

 

How We Help

  • Our website is continually updated with the research, analysis, and background information needed to make informed judgments about education issues.  Our interactive graphics and cost and savings calculator are without parallel in education.
  • Our Consultants Network enables you to find a consumer-friendly expert source on most educational issues. Contact us if you need a Second Opinion regarding a particular issue.
  • Our subscriber-supported ClearingHouse enables you to discuss your questions and share your experience with other consumers and consumer-friendly experts.
  • Our Education Consumers Associations are grassroots groups of parents and others who have a consumer’s stake in education. Educators are welcome but asked to wear their consumer’s cap.

If you would like to support the Education Consumers Foundation, please visit our Support page. Our ability to sustain the Foundation’s independence depends on your understanding and generosity.