About Us


Who We Are

We are a growing education policy and consulting group with over 10 years of experience. We are committed to working with educational leaders, policymakers, and organizations who are interested in, or actively engaged in, the use of systems thinking to improve public education. We work with state departments of education, districts, schools, and partner organizations to pursue improvement strategies and policies that will enhance learning among  adults and students.   


What we do to support innovation

Teachers, administrators, and educational leaders spend long hours figuring out how to do their jobs better and improve teaching and learning, and in  doing so they continually come up with new and potentially innovative ideas and strategies. Connecting research on "what works" with the contextual knowledge and expertise of individuals working in particular setting (e.g., an urban or rural district) is key to advancing educational improvement. We know that innovation, and more importantly the  untapped potential for innovation, does exist across the public school  sector, but that the system of public education does not always provide  fertile ground for the development and sharing of such innovation. 

We work to support the development and expansion of research-driven and innovative ideas to improve public education by cultivating strategic leadership and learning, supporting the construction of a policy environment conducive to innovation and improvement, and engaging in meaningful evaluations of the strategies to improve schools.


INSTLL was founded in 2008 by Brett Lane and builds upon his over 20 years of experience working for two Regional Education Laboratories and with state and district leaders on both coasts, as part of the national infrastructure for providing technical assistance and support to states and districts. INSTLL applies lessons learned from working within the system to provide customized, flexible, and evidence-driven services to state and district leaders committed to making a difference. 

Our current work involves researching the policy conditions necessary for states and districts to scale up and effectively implement district and school turnaround and improvement efforts. We are working with multiple organizations as a thought partner, researcher, and evaluator to develop innovative strategies for improving public education, especially in urban and high poverty rural areas. We specialize in partnering with states and district to develop strategic approaches to district and school improvement. 

Focus on District and School Turnaround

Since 2009, Mr. Lane has worked closely with the Massachusetts Office of District and School Turnaround, supporting the administration of the school improvement grant (SIG) program and the design and implementation of the state’s Turnaround Initiative for under-performing/priority districts and schools. INSTLL’s work is founded on an interdisciplinary academic background emphasizing the relationships among law, policy, and the broader community and social issues influencing public education.

We Welcome Partnerships

Now based outside of Baltimore, MD, INSTLL specializes in the active design and use of educational accountability systems, research and evaluation, and ensuring that education policy—as written and enacted—leads to effective improvements, in states, districts, and schools.

Contact Us

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Institute for Strategic Leadership and Learning

30 Overbrook Road Catonsville, MD 21228US

(443) 635-4816