Improving education for millions of students of color in California schools and colleges
Over the past 3 years, The Education Trust–West team has reaffirmed the power of our organization’s unique value, playing a pivotal role in crucial statewide policy changes and supporting equitable implementation and equity-driven practices in communities across the state. Over 90% of the team is Black, Latinx, or Asian/Pacific Islander, and the staff brings an invaluable breadth and depth of expertise, with backgrounds ranging from former elementary, secondary teachers and administrators, college faculty, and college counselors to Emmy-winning media and political campaign staffers, and individuals with legal and research backgrounds.
Our theory of change makes use of a powerful toolbox: community-informed data and policy analysis with strategic efforts to shift narratives and influence decision-makers. The past 3 years of Ed Trust–West’s work demonstrate the impact of our multi-faceted approach.
Impact By the Numbers
Op-eds, Blogs, Statements, and News Mentions in the past 3 years
Shaping narratives and increasing understanding of equity issues
educators serving 500,000 students reached through TK-12 equitable action planning work
Helping school districts better support students
Briefs, Reports, Toolkits, and Resources released in the past 3 years
Providing expert policy analysis and actionable research
webinars, listening sessions, presentations, community events and advocacy meetings
Engaging with communities and individuals across the state
hours advising elected officials, in legislative meetings and briefings
Advocating directly to California’s elected leadership
$ 0 million
for improving coordination between schools and colleges as a result of Ed Trust–West advocacy
Helping more Black, Latinx, and Native American students access early college programs
$ 0 million
for math and science professional development as a result of Ed Trust–West advocacy
Making sure students of color have fully-prepared teachers
of Ed Trust–West’s priority legislative policy proposals became legislation in the past 3 years
Ensuring the state passes equitable policies that support student success
more students per year applying for college financial aid after access legislation sponsored by Ed Trust–West
Helping more Black and Latinx students go to college in California
$ 0 million+
sent from us directly to community partners to support local advocacy
Building power for students in key regions in the state
$ 0 billion+
in overall state investments for equitable policies and programs Ed Trust-West advocated for
Securing the financial resources needed to increase opportunities for students
$ 0 billion+
To expand and implement Transitional Kindergarten for all
Making sure all families can access early learning
Individuals accessing our resources online
Getting important information to advocates and decisionmakers
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Cultivating Spaces for Power Building
It takes the power of both local advocates and state decisionmakers to make sure California does more to support students of color. At Ed Trust–West, we help cultivate that power through our programs and events around the state. In 2022, the Education Equity Forum returned with a sold out crowd of over 400 advocates in Los Angeles, and with more pre-conference institutes for advocates to learn collaboratively and action plan with their local teams.
Our other power building programs also help build a pipeline of equity champions that make sure policies and practices support Black, Latinx, Asian Pacific Islander and Native American students. The Educator Advisory Council, the Russlynn Ali Fellowship, and the FIERCE Student Fellowship all reached their highest numbers in 2023, with dozens of individuals participating in these programs and going on to become executive directors, policy directors, staffers in the governor’s office, faculty members and administrators at California colleges.
Through coalitions that bring together advocates, educators, students, and families, Ed Trust–West partners with over 100 community-based and statewide organizations in key regions including Greater Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and the Central Valley.
Our coalitions are a crucial part of how we move our policy work forward, providing spaces for sharing resources, collaborating on strategic direction, and building power. Learn more below about how our coalitions and advocacy work led to big wins in the past three years.
to financial aid
The cost of higher education is one of the biggest barriers for students of color. Ed Trust–West’s All in for Financial Aid campaign works to help more students get access to money for college by making sure students and families are supported through the financial aid application process. In 2022, we secured a huge win for California’s low-income students of color with the passage of Assembly Bill 469, a new law requiring schools to help all students complete an application for financial aid before they graduate high school.
Our team worked closely with Val Verde Unified School District to understand their pilot program on financial aid application completion, used research and policy expertise to develop the proposal that eventually became state law, and led a broad-reaching communications and engagement strategy that galvanized advocates and decisionmakers from Southern California to Sacramento. As a result of AB 469, in just the first year of implementation, more than 43,000 additional students submitted financial aid applications, paving the way for more students of color to attend college in the state.
Additional students submitted financial aid applications
Democratizing Data to Support Students
You can’t fix what you can’t see. Everyone from parents and teachers to researchers and policymakers need accurate, timely, accessible information to improve schools and colleges so more students of color succeed. Ed Trust–West’s advocacy continues to play a central role in shaping the next chapter of California’s education data system and ensuring both the process and final system prioritizes equity and community engagement.
We championed 5 key principles for equity in education data systems, which were then embraced by state leaders as they launched the Cradle-to-Career data system development process. Since 2020, Ed Trust–West advocacy has helped to secure over $42 million in state investments to develop, launch, and support stakeholders in using California’s new education data system that will provide useful information from early learning all the way through college.
$ 0 million
In state investments to develop, launch, and support stakeholders in using California’s new education data system
Equitable, Evidence-Driven Math Instruction
Despite being an increasingly growing global economy and the home of innovation hubs like Silicon Valley, state and national assessments show California schools have long struggled to support students adequately and equitably in math.
Ed Trust–West’s multifaceted strategy on boosting equity in California math instruction combined technical advising on policy and practice language in the state’s new framework on mathematics instruction, a sustained engagement role lifting up the insights of community partners around the state, and a nimble communications strategy all designed to ensure revisions to how the state teaches math can truly make a difference for the state’s Black, Latinx, Asian, Native American, and multilingual learner students. As of 2023, California has adopted a new, more equity-driven, math framework and with the help of Ed Trust–West and partners, the state has invested over $85 million in professional development for teachers.
$ 0 million
In professional development for teachers.
Investing in a Proven Strategy to Help Students of Color Go to College
When students have early access to college, they are more likely to graduate high school and get a college degree. Ed Trust–West works statewide to champion dual enrollment as one way to help more Black, Latinx, and Native American students go to college.
Our in-depth analytical research on access data as well as community friendly tools to grow awareness and increase access helped pave the way for California leaders to prioritize funding for early college programs. Led by Ed Trust–West and partner organizations, dual enrollment advocacy secured a huge win – $200 million for early college partnerships and pathways programs – and successfully protected the state’s commitment to funding these programs in a deficit budget year.
$ 0 million
For early college partnerships and pathways programs
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Perspectives on our Impact
There are advocacy organizations who simply tell elected leaders what they think we want to hear - Ed Trust–West is not one of them. Their depth of expertise in equitable policy development and implementation is exceedingly clear, and they lead with the utmost integrity around what’s right for students of color and their families. They tenaciously push policymakers in the right ways, and California is better because of that.
Ed Trust–West is one of our most trusted partners as we advance wins for higher education students across our state. They’re a powerhouse when it comes to developing community-informed research and equity-focused recommendations in a way that is actionable for both policymakers and fellow advocates.
Ed Trust–West is one of those rare organizations that works with communities rather than on behalf of them. For us, their impact is clear - our students have more opportunities because of their work. Ed Trust–West is the team I can call up for support any time, that stands next to us in the halls of the state Capitol, and that develops resources actually designed to meet community advocacy needs.
Ed Trust–West’s team is an integral partner in making California a more inclusive, equitable place for families and students. With their dedication to promoting racial equity and fostering collaboration, they are essential allies in advancing educational opportunity.
Ed Trust–West plays a pivotal role in making equity a central focus of education policy work in California. They don't shy away from the more complicated issues, and their early learning to and through college approach strengthens all sectors of the education system in the state.
Ed Trust–West has their ear on the ground, and is really tracking implementation, pushing a statewide policy but really being connected to what happens locally so you can go back and refine and say no, we need to make additional changes.
Equity-focused policies can have a long term impact on students’ lives and opportunities, and Ed Trust–West’s approach to policy advocacy keeps that truth at the center of all they do. Their effect on local advocacy is reciprocal as well, both ensuring community perspectives are listened to in Sacramento and developing resources we can use on the ground with regional decision makers and local leaders.
Ed Trust–West is committed to understanding how practices work within districts and schools so they can help shape statewide policies that are truly designed to provide more equitable opportunities for students of color. There's a feedback loop, a dynamic of open, honest communication we have with their team that makes both their state policy development work and our local implementation efforts stronger.
Our work is made possible by the philanthropic community and supporters like you.