EQUITABLE EDUCATION

Goals + Outcomes

Goal 1: Build a movement to align community + education institutions to create systems- and policy-level impact

Meyer will support a broad-based movement for equitable education that mobilizes the power and potential of students, families, communities and organizations toward unified action, meaningful change and education equity.

Oregon faces deeply entrenched and complex education issues that require thoughtful approaches between community-based organizations and education institutions.

As public education institutions, policies and leaders continue to miss the mark on meeting the educational needs of priority students in Oregon, we believe community and education institutions must become full partners in building the strategies that will create the system change needed at all institutional levels.

We seek strategies that focus on the importance of interdependent relationships between self-determined communities and education institutions. The core purpose of this goal is to activate and mobilize communities to elevate their unified voice and increase their representation at decision-making tables. In response, education institutions must demonstrate both intent and strategy to increase their knowledge and understanding of community needs by providing and maintaining relevant supports for community engagement.

Strategies

  • Activate communities: Support the capacity of culturally specific and community-based organizations to activate and mobilize communities, elevate community voice and increase community representation at decision-making tables.
  • Build capacity: Strengthen an organization's ability and infrastructure to deploy effective and innovative solutions.
  • Invest in community-driven solutions: Support community-centered opportunities and collaborations that advance equitable education for priority populations.
  • Build an education leadership pipeline reflective of students and families: Expand efforts to develop and support diversification of trained educators and leaders.
  • Systems change: Invest in planning, policy and systems change activities designed to increase access to educational opportunity by communities experiencing disparities.
  • Encourage and support collaboration: Invest in collaboration between institutions and community-based organizations designed to increase system knowledge and understanding of community needs.
  • Advocacy: Invest in advocacy, public education and change communications to support systems-level and policy changes to advance equitable education.
     

Intended outcomes

  • Increase community participation in education systems and improve alignment between communities and education institutions
  • Create systems- and policy-level change to advance equitable education
  • Increase the number of stable organizations
  • Expand the role of community-based organizations in system leadership and decision-making
  • Increase education workforce diversity
     

Examples of what we might fund

In this goal area, Meyer intends to fund a broad range of approaches, including efforts to support community engagement, community-based organizing and organizational capacity building aimed at increasing the ability of communities to participate in the development and implementation of strategies to improve education for focus populations. Priority will be given to organizations that expand participation of focus populations using meaningful, responsive and impactful methods.

Examples include developing and supporting coalitions of culturally specific organizations to build cross-community understanding of student needs, projects that include student voice to activate community organizing, and efforts to increase organizational funding to sustain community engagement and advocacy efforts.

Three examples of what we funded under this goal in 2017 include:

  • Building the capacity of a community-based organization to train parents from communities of color in cross-cultural leadership development, with parents using their collective voice to advocate for their students and help shape a Portland-area school district equity plan
  • A regional education collaborative building its capacity to better serve and empower communities of color through examining its policies and deepening understanding of how culture affects participation in community programs, intercultural communication and racial and social justice issues in southern Oregon
  • Supporting operations of a culturally specific nonprofit organization training Oregon teachers in culturally responsive practices and training parents of color to advocate for their students in the public education system in a school district in the central Willamette Valley
     

These are only examples to illustrate the types of projects we might fund. We invite other ideas that would further our goals, strategies and intended outcomes.

Goal 2: Improve student achievement and college and career readiness

Meyer will invest in and support strategies and partnerships that improve Oregon student achievement at key benchmarks by prioritizing strategies that eliminate disparities and close gaps in education opportunities and outcomes.

This goal aims to directly support priority students and communities by investing in strategies that improve Oregon student achievement and close gaps. Research and practice demonstrate that focusing efforts on key transitional moments can boost student achievement. We will seek to partner with communities, organizations and institutions that build, expand and innovate to support student success for our priority populations.

This goal also supports cross-sector collaborations among businesses, industry and employers with education and community-based organizations to prepare students for meaningful careers.

Strategies

  • Support achievement by investing in effective strategies: Support community organizations and education institutions committed to operationalizing equity by implementing strategies to eliminate disparities at key academic benchmarks.
  • Encourage cross-sector collaboration: Support collaboration among partners, industry and employers to increase the ability of organizations and educators to prepare priority students for careers in STE(A)M, CTE and the trades.
  • Foster innovation: Support emerging opportunities, innovations and collaborations that advance equitable education for priority populations.
     

Intended outcomes

  • Increase the number of priority students entering kindergarten ready to learn and achieve
  • Increase the number of priority students in third grade reading at benchmark
  • Increase priority student attendance
  • Increase the number of priority students on track in ninth grade
  • Increase the high school graduation rate for priority students
  • Increase priority student postsecondary enrollment and/or readiness to enter the workforce
  • Increase STE(A)M, CTE and trade career opportunities for priority student populations
     

Examples of what we might fund

In this goal area, Meyer intends to fund projects that involve a significant and ongoing commitment to equity and eliminating education disparities with responsive programming that increases access and participation and supports priority student success.

Types of projects might include service expansion or innovation that improves equitable outcomes or supports collaborations that engage communities most impacted by disparities. We seek to fund projects that build the effectiveness of organizations to directly impact student achievement and college and career readiness.

Three examples of what we funded under this goal in 2017 include:

  • Building the capacity of leadership to pursue opportunities for stability and growth for an organization expanding STEM opportunities to underserved students of color in North and Northeast Portland
  • Increasing literacy among indigenous students in a K-8 public school in rural central Oregon through a literacy coordinator and educational assistants, further aligning district priorities with community needs
  • Implementation of summer programming for incoming kindergartners and integration of multiple strategies to encourage parent engagement throughout students' first year to address the lack of kindergarten "readiness" in the central Willamette Valley and its correlation to disproportionate education outcomes for priority populations
     

These are only examples to illustrate the types of projects we might fund. We invite other ideas that would further our goals, strategies and intended outcomes.