August 2, 2009


About CEI

CEI is the NAESP's center for research and instructional leadershipThe Center for Educational Improvement (CEI) identifies, shares, and applies 21st century innovations in learning to guide school leaders as they improve their schools. CEI is a nonprofit with 501(c)3 tax-exempt status in the United States.

CEI’s approach is based on input from school principal advisors as well as our environmental scans and conversations with psychologists, neuroscientists, educators, engineers, scientists, other researchers, and policymakers. Bolstered by our relationship with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and its Foundation,  we are grateful for their continuing support. CEI advises principals, teachers, leadership teams, and districts on how to implement evidence-based best practices to ‘fast track’ academic progress and close gaps between the latest research on student achievement and what is practiced in schools. CEI also collaborates with principal mentors to design, implement, evaluate, refine, and disseminate research with the principal in mind. As we build bridges to educational excellence, CEI teams with other researchers, private companies, and government agencies.

CEI Honored as a Pioneer

Christine Mason Certificate

CEI was recently (July 2016) recognized as a Pioneer by the Children’s Well Being Initiative sponsored by the Ashoka and Robert Wood Johnson Foundations for our Heart Centered 21st Century Tool and our planned implementation and demonstration projects

Research. Our research includes scanning the environment to curate and share information on the latest 21st century innovations in learning. We also design and conduct our own research studies to improve education. Our research in 2018 focuses on:

  • Promoting Heart Centered Education® (our signature approach to social emotional learning/mindfulness focusing on compassion, courage, confidence, consciousness, and community) to equip students with the intellectual, personal, emotional, and social skills needed for success at school and throughout their lives. We are collaborating with Thrivist/Class Gather in the dissemination and use of a rubric that is designed to assist teachers in visioning, planning, implementing, and refining this approach.
  • Adding meaning and rigor to classrooms to improve instructional leadership and make learning more exciting, alive, and relevant. This includes collaborating with engineers and others for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) improvements.
  • Using neuroscience research to accelerate learning
  • Leading schools to excellence in STEM

To lead schools to excellence with this knowledge, CEI:

CEI’s reach, capability, and national and global vision has expanded greatly since Dr. Christine Mason started CEI as a nonprofit in 2010. Our time with the NAESP, which continues to provide invaluable seed funding, has been instrumental in helping us understand the vital role and the mindset of school principals. We continue to believe that principals serve in key roles and that more efforts are needed to listen to their views, support their development, and further their skills as critical school leaders. CEI is particularly grateful for our ongoing relationship with the NAESP Foundation and our agreement to continue to collaborate to improve education and educational leadership.