Our Impact

Watershed’s founders and principal consultants launched the organization after developing and implementing nationally recognized education reforms in Louisiana. As top leaders at the Louisiana Department of Education, the team:

Expanded access to high-quality early childhood programs that prepare children to learn, grow, and succeed.

Created the nation’s most coherent statewide system of standards, curricula, assessments, and professional learning.

Equipped all educators in Louisiana, from aspiring teachers to school system leaders, with high-quality training and career advancement opportunities.

Prepared students to graduate from high school with the credentials and funding needed for their next step of education or career preparation.

During their tenure, Louisiana achieved record-breaking results in every metric.
And the Bayou State is now better educated than at any other point in its history.

That same team is now supporting government leaders across the nation to bridge the problematic gaps among aspiration, implementation, and scale in America’s education, and workforce systems.

Where We’re Working

Watershed is currently engaged in initiatives across the nation, including:

  • Unifying Colorado’s Early Childhood Education System

    Watershed has served as lead consultant and advisor for Gov. Jared Polis and the state of Colorado as the state unifies the disconnected elements of its early childhood system under a new Department of Early Childhood. Beginning in spring 2021, Watershed facilitated the legislatively-required planning process for creating the new state agency and for implementing universal pre-kindergarten.

  • Scaling College and Career Advising for Rural Students

    Watershed launched a public-private partnership to expand the number of rural high school students enrolling in postsecondary education, inclusive of four-year colleges, two-year colleges, and technical schools. Watershed designed a sustainable grant program in which the governor and state education agency invested $10 million over three years, and rootEd Alliance, the philanthropic arm of BDT Capital, is investing about $3 million to support the hiring, training and ongoing support of school-based student advisors whose only role it is to support students in 140 rural high schools to build and realize a postsecondary plan.

  • Expanding Access to High-Impact Tutoring

    Watershed is leading the implementation of a nationwide, philanthropically-funded effort to expand access to and sustain high-impact tutoring, in particular for historically excluded students, in seven geographies. Over three years, this effort will cultivate and support “proof point” states and cities driving impact at scale, influence state and district policy and implementation strategy, ensure the further development of a research-driven evidence base and tools to advance the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of this work, and foster a well-capitalized, quality-regulated sector of diverse individualized learning services.