top of page



Assessing National K12 Priorities | Introducing The Hub | Team Updates


As 2022 comes to a close, we at EduDream are reflecting on what 2023 will bring for students who are now back in school for their second year of “normal” in-person learning. How are children really doing - academically, socially, and emotionally? In 20 years, will we be proud of how we collectively supported students in the aftermath of the pandemic? Which students continue to lack access to educational opportunities? What pandemic-engendered school innovations have taken hold or still have the potential to take hold, and what are we collectively doing to elevate these new approaches to accelerate student learning and well-being?

EduDream and many others are calling for education leaders to explore and implement innovative accountability and assessment systems that better reflect our shared educational priorities at the local, state, and federal levels. What are our educational priorities in the current national context, and how can we better assess those?


EduDream Co-Founders, Michelle Oliva and Monica Martinez share 4 questions we should ask to determine those priorities and how EduDream's The Hub will inform equity-centered education policy to develop innovative systems of accountability and assessment...Continue Reading

A Clear Mission | Supporting High School Students | Celebrating 6 Years


Last winter, the EduDream team stepped away from client work and day-to-day life demands for a one-week retreat to reflect and plan forward. This included revisiting EduDream’s mission, vision, and core values. During the retreat, we reflected on questions such as, "Why does EduDream exist?" and "What is EduDream’s intended impact or desired outcome?"
The retreat gave us the space and time to reframe our mission and vision statements. We left with a clearer mission, though our vision is the same. 

In fall 2021, EduDream partnered with the Partnership to co-create an evaluation plan. Read more about this client spotlight, and the Chicago Women/Womxn: Lift & Lead interview series, which EduDream co-founder, Monica Martinez participated in March 2022. 

New Report Series | Standards-Based Reform: Successes, Unintended Consequences, Equity Challenges and Approaches


Today, EduDream releases three reports on the Standards-Based Reform (SBR) movement and its impact on United States education. Through a three-part evidence synthesis series, EduDream explores:

For decades, the SBR movement informed education policy and shaped debates about public education including teacher preparation, curriculum and assessment, and accountability measures for educators, schools, and districts. As policymakers and education leaders consider the future direction of federal education policy, they will need to closely examine the unintended consequences and pushbacks presented in the reports.

Fall 2021 Newsletter: Partnerships | New Team Members | Upcoming Report


Dear Colleagues: 

The morning air is getting crisper -a subtle reminder of seasons changing. And yet, the last 18 months have been filled with not only change but unpredictability. Students and teachers returned to school for the second year during the COVID pandemic. Some employers shifted from remote to in-office working. EduDream has remained remote and committed to its mission: to advance educational equity through research, evaluation, strategic planning and data analytics and insights.

Over the past 10 months, we've had the honor to partner with Community GuildsCollege Advising Corps, The Institute for Racial Justice at Loyola University Chicago, and Kansas Health Foundation. Our services have helped these organizations strengthen data culture and use, assess needs, develop a strategic plan, and begin a developmental evaluation.  The EduDream team looks forward to new and continued partnerships. 


EduDream's First 5 Years 


On May 5, 2016, we launched EduDream to provide representative leadership, center equity, and elevate voices that are often silenced. We have grown and evolved as leaders and partners while remaining true to our core values and mission: to advance educational equity for racially and economically diverse students and communities. We have forged strong relationships with clients, as reflected in our returning clients and referrals. In five years, we have partnered with 25 clients on 40+ projects in education research, evaluation, and strategic planning.  Thank you for entrusting us! 


EduDream Equity Toolkit + White Paper 


We started 2021 with a new administration that plans to prioritize racial justice and equity. The White House executive order to advance racial equity and support for underserved communities is a signal that this issue is top of mind for the Biden-Harris administration. However, the real and tough work is still ahead. Today, EduDream releases In Pursuit of Racial Equity: A Pathway for Action and Transformation in Education


Research for the white paper led to development of the EduDream Equity Toolkit (EET), a suite of tools with a cohesive process for district and school teams to not only uncover inequitable practices and policies, but also create equity-centered action plans. 

A Message from EduDream


This year has affirmed the vast inequities that have been flying under the radar for too long. COVID-19 exposed racial disparities in the U.S. health and education systems. Another more troubling virus, systemic racism, pushes black and brown boys from schools into prisons and leaves communities of color living with preventable diseases. In the last few months, we learned of the violent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and then George Floyd. We are deeply saddened and frustrated. We believe Black Lives Matter and stand in solidarity with Black communities. 

Over the last two weeks, we have been processing the events that have unfolded across the country. This has led to vulnerable conversations about colorism and racism within Latinx communities. There is much to undo in how we were raised and the social constructs imposed upon us. In order to combat racism, we must acknowledge our own biases and actions that deny access and opportunity for Black communities. We also continue to read, listen and learn from Black racial justice advocates. As researchers, we play a role in shining a light on racial inequities and calling attention to root causes of disparities.  Read more

EduDream Celebrates 4 Years & Launches Equity Toolkit

May 05, 2020

May 5th marks four years since EduDream was founded. EduDream proudly celebrate its achievements as a Latina-owned organization in a highly niche, professional services sector that is lacking diverse leadership.  Read our May 2020 E-Newsletter to learn more about the launch of the EduDream Equity Toolkit (EET) and work with the Aspen Institute. 

A Message to Our Partners and Friends

March 13, 2020

Dear fellow partner and friend: 


In delivering EduDream's services to your organization, we have built strong partnerships and friendships.  We not only exchanged ideas in service of educational equity, but we also shared updates on our families and travels.  During this time of great uncertainty, please know we are thinking of you. We wish you, your colleagues, friends and families good mental and physical health. 

We recognize that the spread of COVID-19 will impact your day-to-day work, perhaps bringing it to a halt. We also know that much of your work may entail being in schools, holding face-to-face meetings, convening groups and maintaining relationships.  Monica and I are very well versed in working remotely/virtually with team members and clients.  We are happy to share tips.  

What is the silver lining in all of this?  We hope this time will lead to further grounding with family and friends, additional reading, opening up space to think, create and innovate. We recognize that this is all highly dependent on our mental space. Should you have that mental space, this is a great time to work on those side projects you have been putting off.  On our end, we will continue to work on research and development, strategy, and content creation for many of you. Please let us know how we can support you during this time.  We are only a Zoom video call away.  

Sending you positive vibes, good health and peace. 

-- Michelle Oliva and Monica Martinez  

EduDream | Co-Founders and Directors

EduDream's January 2020 Newsletter

January 15, 2020

The January 2020 Newsletter is out!  EduDream exists to activate and bolster educational equity. Learn about EduDream's mission-driven impact and we are going back here. We look forward to continuing conversations and partnerships with you in 2020. If you or a colleague could benefit from EduDream's expertise and approach, contact us. 

EduDream's September 2019 Newsletter

September 18, 2019

In December 2018, EduDream launched its quarterly newsletter to keep partners, clients, and supporters informed of its work and impact.  The newsletter is also an opportunity to spotlight clients and share organizational updates.  The September 2019 newsletter contains update of the Latina Leadership Series Kick-Off event, announcement of changes to the website and showcases the results of a needs assessment study for the Diverse Charter School Coalition, research support for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and database development for Chicago Jesuit Academy.  Read more here.  Want to work with EduDream?  Contact us at 

EduDream's Latina Leadership Series Kick-Off: The Untapped Power of Latinas

May 31, 2019

EduDream launched its Latina Leadership Series with The Untapped Power of Latinas. This event included a powerhouse panel of Latinas who work in the government, business, non-profit, and philanthropy sectors. Thank you to our panelists, moderator and attendees. Over 75 participants signed up for the event, indicating a need for conversation, knowledge sharing and support among Latinas in Chicago. 

Going Back to Cali and Meeting Clients in Person

May 10, 2019

May has been quite a month, beginning with two back-to-back trips to California. The first trip to central California was project-related.  In addition to providing context (seeing our client in action) and conducting in-depth interviews with program participants, we finally met the project team in person! Less than a week later, we were back in California. This time, we were in Oakland for the New Schools Venture Fund Summit. It was EduDream's first time attending the summit and the first year where the summit was more racially and ethnically representative.  

First Newsletter of 2019 & Latina Leadership Series Kicks-Off Soon

April 15, 2019

EduDream's quarterly newsletter is a great way to stay informed. For example, did you know that to continuously improve our approach to the work, our co-founders participated in a workshop hosted by the Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  At the workshop, our co-founders had the opportunity to assess their practices, and learn strategies for applying a racial equity lens.

Did you also know that EduDream is launching their Latina Leadership Series?  Learn more here

Data Collection During the Polar Vortex

February 01, 2019

All of our projects include data, and most rely on primary data. EduDream works with clients to schedule data collection at the most optimal times and locations. This winter, a client was hosting a national convening of stakeholders in New Orleans, and we agreed to take advantage of a captive audience. However, the tables quickly turned as a cold spell hit the Midwest and Chicago found itself in a Polar Vortex. Many took the day off (e.g., driving companies, schools) and others dealt with freezing fuel tanks, flight delays and cancellations. Our team was scheduled to depart that frigid day. After arriving at O'Hare, seeing more crew than ever before, experiencing several gate changes and frozen fuel tanks, we landed safely in New Orleans. We went from -50 to a balmy +50 degrees.  Best of all, we successfully facilitated stakeholder focus groups and interviews! 

EduDream Newsletter Launched!

December 18, 2018

EduDream launched its newsletter today. The newsletter introduces our interns for the 2018-19 academic year and highlights the impact of our work. This year, EduDream forged new partnerships and supported longstanding partners, all while strengthening its operational capacity. In total, we led 10 projects with 5 new and 3 established partners, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools at New York University (NYU Metro Center), Teach for America, United Way-Fox Valley, Partnership for College Completion, and Big Shoulders Fund. 

EduDream selected for Annie E. Casey Foundation ACE Network

September 21, 2018

Some new “old” news. Back in February, EduDream Co-Founder Michelle Oliva was selected through a rigorous vetting process to be part of the 2018 Advancing Collaborative Evaluation (ACE) Network, a group of experienced evaluators from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups. The ACE Network was started through the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Expanding the Bench initiative, which seeks to increase diversity in the field of research and evaluation. The ACE Network is intended for independent evaluators and small evaluation firms. Reflecting on joining the ACE Network, Michelle stated, “A network such as ACE is critical in expanding viewpoints and approaches to research and evaluation. We appreciate the Foundation's efforts to link highly qualified evaluators of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups with opportunities to lead and support evaluations and learn about job and networking opportunities. We look forward to what is in store for the ACE Network and the field.”   

EduDream participates in Goldman Sachs 10KSB

August 23, 2018

Always looking for opportunities to learn and grow as entrepreneurs, in February 2018, EduDream co-founders attended an informational session on the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program. After learning that only one co-founder could participate in the program, EduDream was well represented by Co-Founder, Monica Martinez. From mid-May through late August 2018, Monica has devoted a tremendous amount of time and effort to attend the all-day Friday modules, a few evening clinics; complete peer learning exercises and homework, and develop a business growth plan. The co-founders collaborated on the initial application, downloaded on module learnings and co-developed the business growth plan. They greatly benefited from weekly check-in calls with an assigned business advisor. This Friday, Monica graduates from the program. Congrats! 

What is Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses? It is an investment to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity by providing greater access to education, capital and business support services. Designed by Babson College, the nation’s top-ranked entrepreneurship school, the curriculum focuses on practical business skills that can immediately be applied by business owners, including negotiation, marketing and employee management.  Source:

EduDream is Moving!

August 01, 2018

For the last two years, EduDream team members have been working virtually. Beginning September 1, 2018, EduDream will be moving into a new office location in Chicago's downtown loop. "We have served our clients well by establishing days when our team works together," shared EduDream Co-Founder, Monica Martinez. "However, as EduDream grows, it will be critical to have a home base that enables collaboration and a strong organizational culture." In addition to office days, team members will still be able to work remotely a couple days a week. We look forward to moving into our new offices and hosting our clients. 

Supporting Women of Color Leadership Development

July 12, 2018

On July 12, EduDream co-founders, Monica Martinez and Michelle Oliva, attended Latinas On The Plaza Presents: Pathways to a Strong FUTURE Fundraiser Night. Latinas On The Plaza provides leadership coaching and training programs for women of color. Three years ago, the organization expanded its services and developed FUERTE, a cohort-based program for young women of color. Luz Canino-Baker, founder of Latinas on the Plaza, noted that for women of color in their mid to late-twenties,"this time is critical and if they are not guided by mentors and people who know how to navigate the pathway to a strong future, their pathway is littered with detours and long journeys away from their desired future." FUERTE is providing key skills that will empower women of color to shift their careers and future into high gear.  

Strategic Planning is Iterative and Hard Work: Celebrating Milestones

May 31, 2018

Milestone #1: completing the strategic planning process. For the past 6 months, EduDream engaged with an association of educators of color and Native/Indigenous identity to develop their theory of change, comprehensive strategic plan and accompanying detailed plan for how to implement the strategic plan. We are excited to see this plan come to fruition, in service of educational equity. #strategicplanning #educationalequity

Big Shoulders Fund (BSF) 2018 Humanitarian Dinner

May 24, 2018

EduDream's leadership team had the privilege and honor of attending the BSF 2018 Humanitarian Dinner. It was an incredible night filled with creativity and generosity. There were stories illustrating the profound impact BSF has had and continues to have on children living in neighborhoods where high quality educational options are limited. We are advocates for public schools; however, we see a place and space for innovation and equitable access to quality education. What a night! 

EduDream Goes to Washington...

April 26, 2018

This spring, EduDream Co-Founders, Michelle Oliva and Monica Martinez, were invited to meet with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Sitting in a room filled with foundation staff, they sure could have used wisdom from trailblazing women, like Carla Harris.  Harris, the Vice Chairman of Wealth Management and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley, tells women "OWN YOUR POWER".  Oliva recounts, "I was shaking like a leaf, wondering if I belonged in that room."  As the faces and leaders of EduDream, Oliva and Martinez are forced to address the elephant in the room: imposter syndrome. It's an ongoing process [addressing this issue], but one that they hope will dissipate one day, very soon. "We need Harris' words to seep into our subconscious: 'If you’ve been invited into the room, you belong in the room.' Every time you have a seat at a powerful and influential table, you are being courageous, taking risks and opening yourself to opportunities. At the end of the day, we know our hard work, competencies, and capabilities are our power." Bravo, ladies!     

Please reload

bottom of page