Today, Education Forward DC celebrates our third anniversary of working to foster a city of high-quality, equitable public schools for every DC student and family. It has been an inspiring, challenging, rewarding and reflective three-year journey and we’re excited for what’s ahead! In partnership with our grantees, funders, city leaders, and community stakeholders we have made significant strides toward achieving our five-year goal of doubling the number of underserved students in DC who are college and career ready.
Over the past three years, together with our partners we have been able to:
- Celebrate an additional 2,685 underserved students becoming college and career ready from the 2016 baseline of 4,800 students for a total of 7,485 students (based on two years of assessment data).
- Support 59 organizations and high-impact leaders with almost $30 million in grants.
- Fund the expansion, creation, or redesign of 21 district and public charter schools that serve underserved students well, adding up to 8,858 new high-quality seats when at scale.
- Finalize our Schools Quality and Equity strategy to help schools implement proven best practices and simultaneously find breakthrough solutions to the most intractable challenges in schools, prioritizing challenges in special education, mental health (especially school-based mental health), and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
- Launch our New Start Grant application process to expand our network of grantees and ensure that our funding process is transparent and equitable. In addition to the leaders that we have partnered with since we launched in 2016, we are now supporting four high-impact leaders of color through our New Start Grants as they prepare to plan and launch three new, high-quality and equitable schools in DC.
- Fund teacher and school leader training organizations to launch or expand their local capacity in DC, resulting in 452 more promising teachers and 44 school leaders in public schools across the city.
- Support the Office of the State Superintendent of Education in its engagement with 1,900 families and community members to develop the new DC School Report Card, a high-quality tool that families can use to make apples-to-apples comparisons across all District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and public charter schools in the city.
- Support our Public Engagement and Advocacy grantees, as they successfully led campaigns to increase per-student funding every year over three years, nearly double the budget for Out-of-School Time programming, and secure $13 million in new funds to support school-based mental health initiatives in the FY20 budget.
- Promote the efficient and equitable allocation of resources by supporting an advocacy coalition that led to a 2.2% increase in facilities funding and by assisting in the launch of the School Facilities Initiative at the Federal City Council to advocate for equitable facilities spending that allows for school growth and meets the needs of students and families across the city.
- Ensure that 58% of our grants and contracts have been in organizations led by an Executive Director, Chief Executive Officer, or board chair who is Black or Latinx in service of our core value of disrupting patterns of racial inequity.
These are just a few of our accomplishments over the past three years and we cannot thank our grantees and partners enough for their commitment to students and families in DC.