The Class of 2019: Introducing the Network’s Newest Members & Partners (Part Two)
June 28, 2019

Millions of additional dollars for mental health supports in Massachusetts, stronger graduation requirements in Ohio, transparent and accessible data in the hands of Nevada stakeholders, a coalition of New Jersey organizations advocating for strong standards and assessment—these are just a few of the campaigns and initiatives that the Network’s newest members and partners have successfully tackled. We’re excited to continue introducing these organizations and highlighting their important advocacy efforts.

THE NETWORK NOW CONNECTS MORE THAN 90 STATE ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS AND CHARTER SCHOOL ASSOCIATIONS AND 24 NATIONAL POLICY PARTNERS—IN TOTAL REPRESENTING 33 STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

Earlier this month, we featured six organizations that were recently added to the Network roster: Connecticut Council for Education Reform, Massachusetts Parents United, National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools, Public Charter Schools of New Mexico, Teach Plus Nevada, and Tennesseans for Student Success. Find more details on these six organizations here. Today, we highlight six more organizations working to serve students, families, and educators.

Follow this Twitter list to see a real-time feed of member and partner activity. Also, make sure you’re subscribed to our bi-weekly Game Changers email to follow significant policy advances across the country.

Educators for Excellence-Boston

Raina Aronowitz, Interim Executive Director

Educators for Excellence-Boston ensures that Massachusetts educators have a leading voice in the policies that impact their students and profession. As a member of the statewide Massachusetts Education Equity Partnership coalition, E4E-Boston and its partner organizations advocate for greater accountability at the state level for schools to achieve better student outcomes.

As part of their Schools That Heal campaign, E4E-Boston is currently working to establish a statewide school counselor to student ratio for the first time in Massachusetts. They are also working to secure more funding for school counselors and community engagement specialists in Boston, in addition to funding and bolstering restorative justice practices around Boston.

By facilitating teachers’ advocacy and partnering them with policymakers in Boston and across the state, Educators for Excellence was able to help ensure that the need for more mental health staff stayed in the political conversation. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and the legislature ultimately approved $7.5 million for additional mental health support staff across the state and introduced legislation to support more mental health supports in school and have school districts develop mental health plans.

Georgia Charter Schools Association

Tony Roberts, President & CEO

The Georgia Charter Schools Association (GCSA) is a nonpartisan advocate, partner, and service provider for Georgia’s public charter schools. GCSA works to increase the number of excellent public-school options for all Georgia students by championing the passage of laws to fund, protect, and ensure the success and growth of public charter schools; providing expert-level training to ensure governing boards and administrators are compliant with state law; coaching and developing aspiring charter school leaders and their governing boards through the process of starting new and innovative public charter schools; facilitating opportunities for networking and collaboration among charter schools in Georgia and across the nation; and developing and implementing programs and services that advance student achievement, accountability, and success in all of Georgia’s public charter schools.

The Georgia Charter Schools Association played a pivotal role in the passage of a 2012 amendment to Georgia’s constitution, which allowed for the state to become an alternate authorizer for charter schools. It was the first charter amendment of its kind to gain passage in the U.S. Within the past several years, the association has worked to increase equitable funding to charters by more than $40 million. GCSA has also partnered with the Georgia Department of Education to develop a new comprehensive performance framework for charter schools and engaged in legal advocacy to protect charter school funding and the autonomy of charter schools.

Ohio Excels

Lisa Gray, President

Ohio Excels is committed to providing an informed business perspective to help improve and transform Ohio’s education system so that it better prepares students to meet the demands of the evolving economy. Most recently, Ohio Excels has been working in partnership with other state advocates to strengthen Ohio’s high school graduation requirements to better reflect the demands of postsecondary and the workforce.

They are also working to increase the capacity and quality of early childhood providers in Ohio; ensure students of all ages receive additional non-academic supports to help them achieve; secure additional funding for high-quality charter schools; identify and support students who are not on track to graduate on time; increase the number of students earning a high-quality industry credential or degree; secure additional state funding for need-based aid for higher education; and improve the data collection and coordination between all government agencies impacting students.

Opportunity 180

Jana Wilcox Lavin, Executive Director

Opportunity 180 is a champion for quality education. Their team is driving towards a North Star where every kid graduates from high school college and career ready. To get there, Opportunity 180 is dedicated to:

  • Working with the Clark County community to add more high-quality public school seats in neighborhoods of greatest need.
  • Investing in great schools, organizations, and educator leaders that will provide more kids a high-quality education.
  • Providing resources and data to community stakeholders so they can make informed decisions that put kids first.

WeRaiseNJ

Gregg Edwards, Executive Director

We Raise NJ is a coalition of New Jersey organizations and associations that are united in the belief that New Jersey students need and deserve a world-class education to effectively compete and succeed in our rapidly changing world. This coalition organizes the power of each member organization into a collective voice to advocate for high quality academic standards and aligned assessments, and to ensure that every child is prepared for college, career, and active citizenship in our communities.

We Raise NJ promotes effective implementation of the following pillars of a high-quality education: high [standards] expectations, committed and supported school staff, family engagement, quality instruction, information on student progress, and career exploration.

They work to ensure that all education stakeholders—especially parents and students—have access to accurate and understandable information about each of these pillars, and a voice in successfully advocating for the policies and activities that support the pillars.

The Hunt Institute

Javaid Siddiqi, President & CEO

The Hunt Institute works at the intersection of education policy and politics where they empower state leaders to drive sustainable reform and become audacious champions for public education. They work in a nonpartisan way to design strategy, shape policy, and drive educational improvements on the national and state levels. Using their depth and breadth of knowledge, they bring together resources and experts from across the country, inspiring visionary leadership and dialogue, and mobilizing strategic action to serve as a catalyst for transforming public education. They work tirelessly to ensure state policymakers have a keen understanding of major education issues, an astute political instinct, and a playbook of transformative state- and local-level efforts that are exemplars of what public education can and should look like. 

They are committed to ensuring that the recent gains made in increasing rigor and alignment in standards, assessments, and accountability are strengthened. They recognize that human capital is the most important investment in the school building, and they are committed to ensuring that all families have choices for high-quality early learning opportunities that will reduce learning gaps and prevent others from ever developing.

You can find a complete list of members (here) and partners (here).


    Ashley Schmidt

    Ashley is PIE Network's Senior Director of Member Engagement & Communications


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