First Things First: Theory, Research and Practice

First Things First (FTF) is an education reform initiative that aims to raise the academic performance of all students to levels required for post‐secondary education and high‐quality employment without remediation. Developed by the Institute for Research and Reform in Education (IRRE) in 1996, FTF strives to create meaningful change for all students – particularly young people in low‐income communities whom public education is failing. The FTF framework provides a set of expectations and articulates the ways in which these expectations can be met by schools and district. Over time, the framework has evolved from an abstract theory to a tested set of interlocking processes, strategies and implementation standards aimed at improving critical student outcomes.