Our organization has been incredibly busy and while we are enjoying the benefits of the seeds we’ve planted over the past year at GO, this is truly only the beginning. I invite you today to celebrate the growth and success we’ve experienced so far, to share the resources below with your networks, and to join us on our exciting journey ahead.
Driving local policy change
Powered by the families and communities we journey beside, our local teams secured impressive policy wins this school year. GO Oakland earned an early data victory when their network successfully advocated for Oakland Unified to centrally share student data reports with all parents via ParentSquare – a critical win during a time when families were in the dark about their children’s progress in school for far too long. Our West Contra Costa team pivoted their family leadership work and introduced a bold new model where policy solutions are defined, led, and achieved by a community-led committee (CLC). Focused on school reopening, the inaugural CLC worked in partnership with West Contra Costa Unified staff to curate a series of recorded and live trainings to help families navigate district communications applications. Finally, a resolution – co-created by GO Fresno’s Dual Enrollment Action Team, and leaders from Fresno Unified and Fresno City College – committing to the equitable expansion of dual enrollment course offerings was passed unanimously by the Fresno Unified Board of Trustees right as 2021 came to a close.
Our state-level voice
Over the years, GO’s state-level work has included advocacy at the legislature and state board of education. We’ve joined coalitions, engaged legislative staff, and shown strong public support for efforts that have successfully led to the creation of a state-wide cradle-to-career data system and increased access to financial aid. Last October, our staff and family leaders celebrated the passage of AB 469 – a bill that requires California’s 12th graders to complete financial aid applications. This comes a full two years after our first organization-wide trip to the Capitol to advocate on behalf of this very important policy.
Since then, we’ve joined the fight for Cal Grant reform and amplified calls for greater LCFF equity, transparency, and accountability. Recently, I teamed up with Parent Revolution’s Jay Artis-Wright to share our thoughts about the shortcomings of our current funding formula and what needs to be done to ensure our most vulnerable students are truly seen and supported.
I’m excited for the continued evolution of our state-level work and I look forward to sharing more about next year’s goals and priorities soon.
Delivering high-quality resources to the communities we serve
At GO, we have always believed that one of our core functions is to provide families and communities with timely and accessible information on a range of complex education topics. This year we’ve done deep dives on the pandemic recovery, student outcomes, school budgets, special education, and financial aid, and published a number of high-quality resources to keep our networks informed. Please feel free to share any or all of these with your networks:
- #SCHOOLAFTERCOVID: From Pandemic to Possibility
- School Budgets: Aligning Spending to Student Impact
- Special Education Resource Library
- Are The Kids Alright? A Look at Student Performance Through i-Ready Data / Part 2
- Gaining Ground: These OUSD Schools Are Helping Black and Brown Students Catch Up Quickly Amidst a Citywide Literacy Crisis
- A Parent’s Guide to Financial Aid
- A Parent’s Guide to College Conversations
- [VIDEO] Financial Aid Expert Panel
On top of our programmatic accomplishments, we’ve also welcomed new staff and board members, completed a strategic plan, and enhanced a number of systems and structures to keep our organization healthy and sustainable. It truly has been an impactful year – one made possible by the support, partnership, and guidance you continue to offer. I remain so grateful and excited for what’s to come.