Former Secretary of Education Dick Riley meets children in a New Tech classroom

Public Education

The Riley Institute’s Center for Education Policy and Leadership supports and recognizes highly effective and innovative approaches to public education that drive better and more equitable outcomes for all the people of South Carolina and beyond.

Our work touches five primary focus areas: project-based learning, personalized competency-based learning, public school Montessori, afterschool and summer learning, and civic education in public schools. In addition, the Institute’s research group undertakes in-depth research and evaluation to promote evidence-supported education practices in public schools.

Each year, the Institute recognizes an outstanding evidence-based public education initiative in the state with its Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSouthCarolina Award.

Shaping Afterschool Policy Leaders

Our White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellowship equips afterschool leaders with a real-world understanding of the art, science, possibilities, and realities of policy-making.

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Group photo of 2019-20 White-Riley-Peterson Fellowship cohort
Group photo featuring winner of 2017 WhatWorksSC Award

WhatWorksSC Awards & Clearinghouse

We're on a mission to honor highly effective programs improving South Carolina public schools and share key strategies to their success.

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Project-Based Learning in South Carolina

The Riley Institute has played an important role in expanding project-based learning across South Carolina and studying the teaching method's impact on student outcomes.

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Students performing project-based learning
Teachers of Government participants stand in front of the U.S. Capitol building as the sun sets

Fostering Civic Leadership

At a time when we critically need to strengthen American democracy, our programs encourage civic participation among young people.

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