How We Help
At Education Forward DC, we invest in and support visionary education leaders’ work to provide students furthest from opportunity the educational experiences they need to thrive.
We do this by:
- Raising funds from local and national donors.
- Supporting grantees with investments and strategic assistance.
- Connecting leaders’ efforts to support citywide transformation.
Through a dedicated focus on recovering from the pandemic’s negative impacts, growing high-quality, equitable public schools, addressing racial inequities, recruiting and retaining excellent leaders, and fostering equity-centered change, we believe DC can continue its progress and become a national model as the first city to guarantee every student access to an excellent education.
Investing in visionary education leaders focused on dismantling inequity and empowering students and families can create a reimagined experience for students that meets their full academic, social, and emotional needs.
Over the next five years, we will support an equitable recovery and ensure that students have greater access to higher quality and more equitable public schools.
Getting our education system back on track after over a year away from the classroom will require strong supports for our students and collaboration from city leaders.
We are aiding the COVID recovery by investing in:
- Initiatives that address the immediate needs of students, families, and schools.
- Ongoing citywide coordination on COVID response and recovery.
- Creation and implementation of a community-driven, citywide vision of equity and excellence for all students.
We have an unprecedented opportunity to lay the groundwork for a reimagined school system that serves DC students even better than before the pandemic. We will work to ensure all students — especially those furthest from opportunity — are not only academically successful, but also socially and emotionally prepared to thrive in life by funding and supporting:
- High-quality school growth and transformation that align with student needs and family demands.
- Interventions designed specifically to improve success of students furthest from opportunity.
- Expanded school supports to improve student mental health and wellbeing.
Advance Racial Equity
Building an education system that results in success for Black and brown students requires a fundamental rethinking and reworking of core education policies, school models, school practices, talent expectations and pipelines, partnerships, and power dynamics. We support efforts to:
- Better understand and equip policymakers to address racial barriers.
- Convene and elevate community voices on racial equity.
- Advance policies that support this work.
Students do best when they have great principals and excellent teachers invested in their success. And schools are best supported when the organizations and partners they work with reflect their community. We invest in work to:
- Understand the challenges educators face and how to retain them.
- Support the development of Black and Latinx education leaders.
- Build a strong leadership pipeline for public schools.
Transformational change that leads to student success happens when education leaders and policymakers make decisions informed by community voices and strong research. We nurture the development of this supportive policy environment by supporting efforts to:
- Empower student, parent, and community voices to advance agendas that meet their needs.
- Support and share research that enriches the education conversation.
- Promote a complementary policy agenda in service of our overall goals.
We’ve invested over $40 million of philanthropic capital across more than 80 unique grantees over a five-year period to build greater equity within the DC education ecosystem.
DC’s public schools and the environment that enables their success have shown meaningful gains in resources, academic achievement, and quality options available since Education Forward DC began its work in 2016.