Our Framework

EduDream combines Culturally Responsive and Equitable Evaluation (CREE) principles and rigorous research methods to produce insights that catalyze impactful action — with, and for, communities.

Our Process

EduDream approaches every partnership in a collaborative manner and embeds CREE principles across our work.

Our Work

High-quality, rigorous, and accessible work that will empower and motivate you to make decisions grounded in equity and evidence-based practices.

Our Services

Collaborative research that elevates the voices of racially and economically diverse students, families, and communities.

The Hub

A multi-year, actionable research initiative generating evidence to advance policy dialogue on K12 education.

EduDream - About Us

About Us

EduDream is a Latina-founded, women-owned, and equity-focused research consulting firm that partners with nonprofits, foundations, and education institutions to provide culturally responsive and community-centered research and strategy. Led by a team of experts, EduDream redefines what’s possible for education research.

News

Celebrating 8 Years of Equity-Centered Research

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EduDream - Featured Insight

Authors

EduDream

Date

May 6, 2024

Category

News

Today, EduDream proudly celebrates its 8th year of impactful work. We reflect on the accomplishments of co-founders Monica Martinez and Michelle Oliva who established a firm born to disrupt systemic inequities in education by leading equity-centered research and strategy

A Need to Address a Growing Latine Student Population

Before EduDream officially launched in 2016, Michelle and Monica, two lifelong college friends, reconnected amidst the 2014 public education policy climate. Data projected the Latine student population would continue growing to be the largest demographic in the U.S. education system. Both were driven by a desire to elevate the voices and experiences of Latina researchers, which were sorely missing from the K12 education discourse.

As researchers, Michelle and Monica leveraged their training and expertise to conduct a literature review to gain a better understanding of the education landscape for students of color. They also looked at what systemic supports were in place to ensure the education system would be adequately prepared to receive and support a larger Latine student population.

Their review uncovered a gap in research that centers on the voices, experiences, and needs of Latine populations—a gap both Monica and Michelle felt called to address. 

From Research to Reality

In their 20 years of experience, they’ve seen how research and evaluation projects have lacked cultural responsiveness, dismissed equitable evaluation practices, and included people of color on evaluation teams only to convey diversity without deep and deliberate engagement with these perspectives. 

Because of this, they initially wanted to start a blog to elevate their voices as Latinas within the research field. However, as weekly meetings and conversations shaped their ideas into a reality, they realized a blog was not enough to achieve their collective vision toward a more just and equitable education system.

This is why EduDream exists. EduDream brings a unique approach to education research, evaluation, and strategy that centers on community and prioritizes equity.

On May 6th, in their hometown of Chicago, Michelle and Monica officially established EduDream, a name reflecting the transformative power of education in fulfilling one’s dreams

Eight Years, Eight Highlights

Reflecting on the past eight years, we are incredibly proud of our team, which grew from two co-founders to five employees in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic to nine employees today! Monica and Michelle’s commitment to leadership is evident in EduDream’s robust business infrastructure, human-centered organizational culture, and long-term strategic plan. We are grateful for our new and returning clients, as we have so far completed 55+ projects for nonprofits, foundations, and schools.

It has been a journey of continuous growth, reflection, and impact that centers on educational equity. Join us in celebrating our top eight highlights from the past year: 

    1. Onboarding eight new client projects and closing out four
    2. Expanding our research team by hiring our first Research Assistant, Yasmin, and onboarding our third Research & Evaluation Associate
    3. Co-founder Michelle Oliva guesting on Fullmind’s podcast, Learning Can’t Wait
    4. Traveling to New Orleans for our annual end-of-year team retreat
    5. Co-founder Monica Martinez guesting on CFO Hannah Smolinski’s podcast, Financial Clarity
    6. Having both co-founders present at SXSW EDU — Monica sharing her journey as a woman of color entrepreneur and Michelle leading workshop attendees through an exercise on developing new, mission-aligned elevator pitches
    7. Launching The K12 Research for Equity Hub cycle one research reports 
    8. Supporting three Illinois Early Childhood Community Collaboration teams with data strategy, needs assessment, and actionable research

From humble beginnings as college friends with a shared passion for research that leads to action, co-founders Monica Martinez and Michelle Oliva have transformed an idea into a thriving education research firm. With each milestone, we reaffirm our commitment to centering community voices and prioritizing equity in all aspects of our work. Join us as we continue to champion change and make our equity-centered dreams a reality for all students.


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