EQUITABLE EDUCATION

Goals + Outcomes

>>View a list of 2018 Equitable Education grants sorted by goal 

Goal: Advance education equity for priority students through systems- and policy-level change

Every year, billions of dollars flow into Oregon’s 197 school districts and 19 education service districts. As resources arrive, superintendents and their elected school boards direct resources to support a broad base of strategies designed to meet both state standards and the needs of students. In Oregon, local control is paramount and creates our foremost opportunity for communities and education institutions to align in systems- and policy-level change efforts. 

The core purpose of this goal is to activate communities to elevate their unified voice and increase their representation at decision-making tables. In partnership, 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.

For Oregon to better prepare its public education system to meet the needs of student’s tomorrow, we must mobilize the power and potential of students, families, communities and organizations toward meaningful, relevant and equitable change. The Equitable Education portfolio will support strategies that build interdependent relationships between self-determined communities and education institutions.

Intended outcomes

Policy- and systems-level change: Through changes in public policy, systems and institutional practices, eliminate disparities for priority students at key education benchmarks:

• Kindergarten readiness 
• Third grade reading
• Sixth grade attendance
• Ninth grade on-track
• High school graduation and college/career readiness

Organizational capacity: Increase impact and long-term sustainability by strengthening the effectiveness of organizations advancing community-driven solutions

Collaborative capacity: Increase coordination and alignment between education institutions and community-based organizations to eliminate persistent barriers for priority students 

Community influence: Increase community participation in civic, education and policy systems

Educator diversity: Grow strategies to increase and retain educator workforce diversity

Examples of what we might fund

In this goal area, Meyer will fund strategies that support community engagement, community-based organizing and organizational capacity building that increases opportunities for priority communities to participate in the development and implementation of systems-level change. We seek to fund organizations that expand participation of priority populations through meaningful, responsive and impactful methods. 
Examples might 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 2018 include:

• An effort to bolster the capacity of a culturally-specific organization focused on elevating Black student achievement and opportunities by expanding programming designed to empower parents of Black students to engage with school systems and aid school districts in implementing culturally affirming practices.

• A collaborative of school districts and a regional education service district to institute culturally responsive practices and policies in Southern Oregon schools.

• A program training parents of color in cross-cultural leadership development while conducting community-based research to surface common barriers and potential solutions to college readiness in Multnomah County.

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: Improve priority student achievement and college and career readiness

Research and practice demonstrate that focusing support on key transitional moments can aid students in their efforts to achieve academic success. Meyer aims to directly support priority students and communities by investing in strategies that improve achievement and close gaps. We seek to partner with communities, organizations and institutions that build, expand and innovate to support priority student success. 

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

Intended outcomes

Student Achievement: Improve priority student achievement at key education benchmarks: 

• Kindergarten readiness 
• Third grade reading
• Sixth grade attendance
• Ninth grade on-track
• High school graduation and college/career readiness

Examples of what we might fund

In this goal area, Meyer intends to fund projects that involve a significant and ongoing commitment to 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 2018 include:

• Expansion of a program designed to increase high school graduation rates and college enrollment through academic skill building, college campus and course exposure and cultural empowerment for students of color in Lane County.

• A project to build the capacity of a therapeutic school serving students with disabilities and trauma in implementing their strategic student support plan to increase student achievement with the goal of creating a replicable model that can be used in other therapeutic educational settings.

• Increasing the number of third grade priority students reading at grade level in the Columbia River Gorge through experiential STEM programming focused on place-based ecological exploration.

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.