Advocates for educational justice and the high academic achievement of all California students, pre-k through college, particularly those of color and living in poverty.

Equity-Driven Data-Centered Student-Focused

Mission

The Education Trust—West works for the high academic achievement of all students at all levels, pre-k through college.  We expose opportunity and achievement gaps that separate students of color and low-income students from other youth, and we identify and advocate for the strategies that will forever close those gaps

Our Core Beliefs

  • Education has the transformative power to close the opportunity and achievement gaps that separate students of color and low-income students from other young Americans.
  • All students will learn at high levels when they are taught at high levels.
  • Great school leaders and highly effective teachers play the most important roles in closing opportunity and achievement gaps.
  • All educational decisions must be made in the best interest of our highest need students to achieve equitable outcomes.
  • The cultural and linguistic diversity of California’s students and communities will fuel the next generation of state growth and prosperity.

History

The Education Trust—West is the California based office of the nationally recognized Education Trust based in Washington D.C. The Education Trust—West was founded in 2001 by Russlynn Ali who led the organization until 2009 when she left to join the Obama Administration as the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Civil Rights in the Education Department. Ed Trust—West has grown since our founding, including the addition of our higher education department in 2017, and is currently led by Dr. Elisha Smith Arrillaga, Executive Director. Raised in a family with deep roots in the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Smith Arrillaga comes from a long line of educators and has taught at both the K-12 and higher education levels. For more on our recent work, check out our 2018 annual report.