Other organizations that focus on Social Justice and Accountability:
The Education Trust
The Education Trust, a non-profit organization based in Washington DC and led by Kati Haycock, aims to make schools and colleges work for all of the students they serve. They are leaders in raising the awareness of the achievement gaps that exist between America’s students; they believe that poor and minority students throughout the K-16 pipeline have the potential to learn at the same standards as others when “the adults responsible for their schooling are willing to ensure that these students are taught at the highest levels.” The Ed Trust’s website has reports and publications related to 1) Achievement in America; 2) No Child Left Behind; 3) Teacher Quality; 4) High Performing Schools; 5) Curriculum and Assessment; 6) K-16 Issues; 7) National and State Level Data; and 8) School Funding.
The Education Trust—West
EdTrust West is the West Coast presence of The Education Trust. Based in Oakland, CA, and directed by Russlynn Ali, EdTrust West is squarely focused on the achievement gaps separating California’s poor students and students of color from other young Californians. While acknowledging that all schools and colleges could better serve their students, they concentrate on the institutions most often left behind — those serving low-income, Latino, African American or Native American students.
The National Center for Educational Accountability
Created in 2001 and based in Austin, TX, The National Center for Educational Accountability is a collaborative effort of the Education Commission of the States, The University of Texas at Austin, and Just for the Kids that aims to improve learning through the effective use of school and student data and the identification of best practices. The Center’s mission is to promote higher student achievement by 1) Improving state data collection to improve decision making; 2) Using data to improve schools by creating the Just for the Kids School Reports to focus communities on the potential of every school; 3) Conducting research on school improvement issues; and 4) Identifying the practices that distinguish consistently high-performing schools from other schools.
Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin
The Charles A. Dana Center is a research unit of the College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin. Under the direction of Uri Treisman, the Dana Center provides Texas education leaders with new knowledge about teaching and learning and facilitates informed deliberation about important education issues. They also support K-12 teachers and leaders working to implement high academic standards for all students. Their vision is for Texas to lead the nation in the achievement of its students and the quality of its workforce. They are committed to an education system that nurtures students' intellectual passions and ensures that every student leaves school prepared for postsecondary education and the contemporary workplace.
According to Dana Center director, Uri Treisman, "In visiting Texas schools and school districts, one cannot help but be struck by the enormous differences in the opportunities and intellectual challenges that schools provide our children. We cannot, as a matter of fairness, allow the accident of where a child attends school to limit the academic opportunities that child can pursue…We must send a clear, unequivocal message to our children that hard work does pay off, and that part of this payoff is the unfettered opportunity to continue one's education and to pursue one's dreams."
Center for Performance Assessment
The mission of the Center for Performance Assessment is to improve student achievement by building the knowledge and skills of educators and school leaders. They are a preeminent source of professional development in the areas of standards, assessment, and accountability. The Center approaches its work based on the seven keys to effective professional development, believing that each of these keys is necessary for the investment of time and resources to be effective in improving student achievement. The website’s Resource Center houses a number of valuable articles as well as CPA’s newsletter, Focus on Achievement.
Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA)
IDRA is an independent, non-profit organization that advocates the right of every child to a quality education. For more than 30 years, IDRA has worked for excellence and equity in education in Texas and across the United States. IDRA conducts research and development activities; creates, implements and administers innovative education programs; and provides teacher, administrator, and parent training and technical assistance.
Just for the Kids
Just for the Kids focus upon three areas: School Data, Best Practices, and Training & Tutorials. School Data: They analyzes state test data to identify how well individual schools are performing. Best Practices: They study the highest-performing schools to find out what works. Training & Tutorials: They develop tools and instruction to help others replicate educational best practice. Just for Kids is sponsored by The National Center for Educational Accountability.
Just for the Kids--California
JFTK--CA, an affiliate of the National Center for Educational Accountability (NCEA) and the California wing of Just for the Kids, provides free, easy to understand data on every public school in California to help schools and communities raise student achievement. The JFTK-CA School Improvement System does three things: 1) Provides clear and accurate data charts based on publicly available information from the California Standards Test for Language Arts and Mathematics; 2) Helps schools benchmark their performance against the top ten performing schools in the state, region and county that have comparable student populations; and 3) Connects schools to higher performing schools to learn what works as well as a Best Practice Framework and self-audit tools to help set measurable, attainable goals for improvement.
Just Schools California
Just Schools California aims to promote a more equitable and fully resourced system of public education in California by fostering a more engaged and active public. It aims to provide California’s public with education news, research, information about advocacy groups, and an array of other resources. The organization is affiliated with UCLA’s Institute for democracy, Education, and Access (UCLA IDEA).
The Achievement Council
213/487-3194. No apparent website.
The Advancement Project defines itself as equity advocates with a strong civil rights bent. The organization, with offices in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, was founded in 1998 to explore revitalized approaches to problems of inclusion and equity. In the Los Angeles office, they focus on making big public systems—mostly in Los Angeles County but statewide as needed—do a better job for low income residents, especially low income children and youth. Over the past decade, AP’s principals have been active in the reform of LA’s public transit, public schools and police.
National Center for Education Statistics
The NCES is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations. NCES is located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences. It collects, collates, analyzes, and reports complete statistics on the condition of American education; conducts and publishes reports; and reviews and reports on education activities internationally. Among other duties, it oversees The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as "the Nation's Report Card." NAEP is the only nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas. Since 1969, assessments have been conducted periodically in reading, mathematics, science, writing, U.S. history, civics, geography, and the arts.
Council of Great City Schools
The Council of the Great City Schools is a coalition of 65 of the nation's largest urban public school systems. Founded in 1956 and incorporated in 1961, the Council is located in Washington D.C., where it works to promote urban education through legislation, research, media relations, instruction, management, technology, and other special projects designed to improve the quality of urban education. The Council serves as the national voice for urban educators, providing ways to share promising practices and address common concerns.
The Milken Institute is an independent economic think tank that aims to improve the lives and economic conditions of diverse populations in the U.S. and around the world by helping business and public policy leaders identify and implement innovative ideas for creating broad-based prosperity. By focusing on human, financial, and social capital, they strive to put research to work with the goal of revitalizing regions and finding new ways to generate capital for people with original ideas. They hold educational roundtables, forums, seminars and conferences, and publish research findings and conference outcomes.
WestEd is a nonprofit research, development, and service agency that works with education and other communities to promote excellence, achieve equity, and improve learning for children, youth, and adults. It is committed to improving learning at all stages of life – from infancy to adulthood, both in school and out. They say their work is far-reaching because their purpose is ambitious: success for every learner. They believe that this goal, while admittedly ambitious, is within reach.
The mission of the ACCESS Project is to promote access to meaningful educational opportunities for all children. ACCESS seeks to 1) Promote better education by conducting research, developing effective strategies for litigation and remedies (including cost studies), and providing tools for public engagement; 2) Expand and strengthen the national movement of advocates who support adequate funding for public education and improved public schools in all states; 3) Assist those seeking education and school funding reform through workshops, conferences, and other support services; and 4) Provide up-to-date information and analysis of key education issues, including school funding, education policy and NCLB. ACCESS is a Project of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity Inc.
Campaign for Fiscal Equity
Founded in 1993, the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation, is a coalition of parent organizations, community school boards, concerned citizens and advocacy groups. They seek to reform New York State's school finance system to ensure adequate resources and the opportunity for a sound basic education for all students in New York City. They feel their efforts will also help secure the same opportunity for students throughout the state who are not currently receiving a sound basic education.
Applied Research Center
Established in 1981, the Applied Research Center describes itself as public policy, educational, and research institute whose work emphasizes issues of race and social change. The ARC consists of both academics and activists that work together to develop tools and analysis regarding issues that face those marginalized in society, particularly people of color, gays and lesbians, and women. The ARC also established the ERASE Program to challenge persistent and pervasive racism in public education.
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)
ACORN describes itself as the nation's largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families, with over 175,000 member families organized in 850 neighborhood chapters in 75 cities across the country and in cities in Canada, the Dominican Republic, and Peru. ACORN works with its community partners for social justice and stronger communities. Its priorities include better housing for first time homebuyers and tenants, living wages for low-wage workers, more investment in our communities from banks and governments, and better public schools. Specifically in relation to schools, ACORN members have won establishment of alternative public schools in Brooklyn, Queens, Jersey City, and St. Paul; have improved school facilities in Chicago, New York, San Jose, Little Rock, and Bridgeport; have stopped school closings in Des Moines; have won free transportation to schools in Little Rock; and have upgraded school safety in New Orleans and Detroit. ACORN achieves its goals by supporting community-based organizations that have the power to affect change locally-- through direct action, negotiation, legislation, and voter participation.
Bay Area School Reform Collaborative (BASRC)
BASRC’s mission is to transform schools across California’s Bay Area into vital places to learn and to teach. They work with education leaders in both schools and districts to develop, assess and use the knowledge needed for schools to engage in a systematic and sustainable improvement process. Committed to eliminating the predictability of achievement gaps between student groups, they seek to provide education leaders -- including teachers, administrators, students, parents and community members -- with access to the ideas, tools and support they need to make continuous improvement "business as usual" in public education.
Established in 1984 and based in Oakland, California Tomorrow’s mission is to create a just and inclusive multiracial, multicultural, and multilingual society by promoting equal access to and participation in major social, economic and educational resources and institutions, and embracing diversity as a great strength. It has built a strong body of research and experience supporting individual, institutional, and community change work around matters of diversity and equity in: public schools, community building organizations, family serving institutions, early childhood programs, private philanthropy, and the after school/youth development arena. Recent education-related projects include 1) Advocacy and Models for the Education of Immigrant Students; 2) Californians Together; 3) Community College Access and Equity Initiative; 4) Equity, Access and Diversity in After School and Youth Programs; and 5) Supporting Bilingual and Bicultural Youth: Mobilizing K-12 Schools, Families and Communities.
Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access (IDEA) at UCLA
IDEA describes itself as a network of UCLA scholars and students, professionals in schools and public agencies, advocates, community activists, and urban youth. IDEA's mission is to make high quality public schooling and successful college participation routine occurrence in low income neighborhoods of color. Research and advocacy are the tools IDEA uses to empower individuals, build relationships, and create knowledge for civic participation and social change. By linking a great public research university with committed educators and supportive community alliances, IDEA seeks to become the intellectual home of a broad based social movement that challenges the pervasive racial and social class inequalities in Los Angeles and in cities around the nation. Current IDEA projects include the Futures I Project which utilizes a collaboration between UCLA faculty, graduate students and educators at a Los Angeles county high school to examine the trajectories students follow from the beginning of high school into their futures as citizens, community members, and workers; the Out of the Loop Project, which is funded by the NSF that examines the lack of minorities in the field of computer programming; the Parent Curriculum Project, a professional development program for parents eager to ensure that all students have equal access to educational opportunities; Teaching to Change LA, an online journal that addresses educational conditions in Los Angeles schools; Teaching for Equity and Change, a three-year outreach program for administrators, TEP graduates and other teachers that are committed to incorporating social justice pedagogy into their curriculum and school culture; and the Urban Teacher Education Collaborative (UTEC), a collaborative that brings together teacher educators, researchers, classroom teachers, and community members to help increase the supply, competence, and commitment of urban schoolteachers across the country.
Teaching to Change LA (TCLA)
Teaching to Change LA (TCLA) is an online journal that addresses educational conditions in Los Angeles schools. K-12 students, parents, teachers, guest contributors, and researchers provide the content for the journal, which is published by UCLA/IDEA several times a year with weekly updates. Journal readers include those who learn and teach in Los Angeles schools, local and state policymakers and legislators, and readers from across the country.
Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools
The Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools, a non profit charter management organization, aims to open and operate a network of excellent small high-performing 9-12 and K-8 public schools in historically underachieving, low income, overcrowded communities in Los Angeles that will significantly outperform other public schools in preparing students to enter and succeed in college.
UC ACCORD, All Campus Consortium On Research for Diversity, is an interdisciplinary, multi-campus research center devoted to a more equitable distribution of educational resources and opportunities in California’s diverse public schools and universities. This distinctive UC voice serves as an information and research clearinghouse and catalyst for promoting the delivery of high-quality, equitable schooling to all students.
National Educational Service (NES)
The National Educational Service provides tested and proven resources to help those who work with youth create safe and caring schools, agencies, and communities where all children succeed. Founded in 1987, the company serves families, educators, communities, and all who work with youth. Programs include: 1) more than 150 research-based books and staff development videos on effective discipline, school safety, multicultural awareness, drug abuse prevention, technology, and school improvement; 2) a network of expert speakers available to offer keynote addresses, workshops, and in-service training on discipline, diversity, and best practices; and 3) regular conferences on improving schools.Educational Policy Institute
The Educational Policy Institute, Inc. (EPI) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to policy-based research on educational opportunity for all students. With offices in Washington, DC (Northern Virginia), Toronto, ON, and Melbourne, Australia.
EPI is a collective association of researchers and policy analysts from around the world dedicated to the mission of enhancing our knowledge of critical barriers facing students and families throughout the educational pipeline. In addition, EPI has developed extensive partnerships and collaborative arrangements with other leading research and educational organizations, further supporting our mission and ability to conduct policy-relevant research for practical use.