Driving Change at the State
Over the past 10 years, GO’s local networks of families, educators, and community allies have proven over and over again that change is possible when the voices of those closest to our public schools are leading the conversation. Working in partnership with thousands of passionate community members, each year our work impacts the lives of more than 150,000 students who call Oakland, West Contra Costa, and Fresno home.
However, we know that not every decision that impacts students and families in our communities is made at the local level and that, with more than 6 million public school students in our state, decisions made in Sacramento need to be informed by families — especially those in our most historically underserved communities.
Last year, members of GO West Contra Costa’s Family Leaders Action Group (FLAG) traveled to the State Capitol to remind the State Board of Education about the forgotten voices they failed to elevate in their outreach around the California School Dashboard. This online data tool uses a complex color-coding system to rate the performance of California’s public schools and districts. We first wrote about the challenging user-experience in this published editorial.
As the tool’s intended users, our parents called out the Dashboard’s confusing rating system, the lack of parent engagement around the tool’s overall effectiveness, and — most importantly — heavily criticized the State Board of Education for releasing the tool without proper translation.
Five months later, we celebrated when we learned the next iteration of the California School Dashboard addressed our concerns.