Our Pledge to You!

Welcome to the AIR Innovation Hub! Over the last several months, we have all grown and adapted in ways we could not have imagined just a few months ago. As the global pandemic continues to separate us physically, now more than ever we need ways to form connections. We can Zoom our friends, colleagues, and students but we need to unite broader communities to meet the new challenges the pandemic brings.

At AIR, we are excited to launch the Innovation Hub—a new platform to bring together voices from across the nation fighting various challenges related to COVID-19. Scholars devoted to innovation studies support a broad definition of innovation as new combinations of existing knowledge and resources that leaves room for customization.1 We are starting with K-12 education, where our commitment and expertise runs deep. That said, we don’t pretend to have all the answers. Rather, we are committed to bringing you research, evidence, tools, and experts to apply what we know to the new challenges we are facing. In addition, we intend to support those of you in the field who are innovating every day and looking for ways to measure effectiveness and scale effective solutions. We will partner with you as you generate new ideas, test and implement new approaches, and create evidence about what works.

Our communities of practice (or CoPs) will be shaped by the field and for the field. We invite you to share your ideas and feedback via email (innovationhub@air.org). Your input will guide the groups and the content we assemble, with the underlying aim of forging new connections across the field. A growing body of research suggests that diversity of opinions and ideas can yield better outcomes. By creating broad and diverse CoPs, we will increase the opportunity for learning, collaboration, and new idea generation. 

Our goal over the next few months and beyond is to connect state and local educators and administrators to address the most pressing policy and practice issues including: online learning, addressing inequality and supporting diverse learners, curriculum adaptation, social emotional learning, diagnostic assessments, grading and promotion practices, teacher licensure, summer programming, CARES funding, and other topics that may be right around the corner. We commit to bringing the best research, evidence, tools, and expertise to bear, as well as engaging CoPs in collaborative idea generation and problem solving. We will support communities in thinking about implementing and assessing those new ideas, as well as co-creating tools and supports for the field.

In this time of exceptional burden, our pledge is to bring you:

  • Relevant and concise research and evidence
  • User-friendly tools to guide and support your work
  • Experts who can share experiences, problem solve, and co-create with you
  • Peers facing similar issues 
  • Genuine support and care as you chart new paths forward and encounter setbacks along the way

What we ask for in return is your authentic engagement and feedback. Thank you for joining us on this journey!


With admiration,

Jessica Johnson, Senior Vice President

American Institutes for Research




1 Fagerberg, J. Fosaas, M., & Sapprasert, K. (2012). Innovation: Exploring the Knowledge Base. Research Policy, 41, 1132-1153; Tierney, W. & Lanford M. (2016). Conceptualizing Innovation in Higher Education. Springer International Publishing.