Proving Ground Partners with Rhode Island Department of Education for LEAP District Support Program

November 17, 2021

New Superintendent Institute and workshop series to support new LEAP District Support Program.

Cambridge, MA — Proving Ground, an initiative of the Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR) at Harvard University, launched a new partnership today with the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) as part of the state’s Learning, Equity, and Accelerated Pathways (LEAP) District Support Program, through a nearly two-year partnership with participating districts to help address challenges to student success in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Proving Ground will host and facilitate an in-depth series of nine workshops from November 2021 through June 2023, to support districts in addressing their highest priority challenge while building long-term capacity in RIDE and the districts to engage in evidence-based continuous improvement going forward. 

Additionally, Proving Ground will host a new, two-part Superintendent Institute, where superintendents will work to create the conditions for continuous improvement in each of the participating districts. All participating districts will benefit from collaborating with each other as part of this network and will have the opportunity to collaborate with their colleagues around the country as part of the broader Proving Ground network.

“This partnership with RIDE represents one of our most ambitious efforts yet in terms of building educators’ capacity to change the way evidence is used to improve student outcomes,” said Proving Ground Director, Dave Hersh. “The support of RIDE’s Commissioner and her team is critical in creating the conditions for growth in Rhode Island.”

Proving Ground trains education agencies to practice evidence-based continuous improvement in addressing their highest priority challenges, helping them clearly define problems, select, design and pilot solutions and use the evidence they generate to make decisions about what to do next. Founded in 2016, the initiative has expanded on their successful model to customize their delivery methods to fit the unique needs of their partners, including these newly developed workshop series and the Institute, which will begin later this month.

“The LEAP District Support Program is an opportunity to collaborate and work together to ensure districts severely impacted by the pandemic succeed,” said Rhode Island Commissioner of Education Angélica Infante-Green. “This statewide plan, aligned to the findings of the experts, community leaders, and educators who comprised the LEAP Task Force, will help us to remedy inequities and accelerate learning for the students most in need. Together, working with partners like Proving Ground, we can make every school in Rhode Island a center for learning and growth.”

For more information on Proving Ground or the LEAP District Support Program, please contact Jennifer Barrios at