Shared Story


Advancing our vision for an Education Built For us All through student and family action research, analysis and stories is key to achieving equity in our schools and communities. The voices of the most-affected students and parents are necessary to create policies and practices that meet student needs.

Our latest release

Beacons of Hope: Stories of Transformation and Equity in California

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated deep inequities in our education system. Students of color, students from low-income families, English learners, and other marginalized children and youth disproportionately felt the impact when schools closed. But in the midst of the difficulties and uncertainties, students, educators, and families have adapted—taking on new, bigger roles in their homes and communities, mastering new technology, and expanding how and where they teach and learn.

We cannot go back to “normal” as vaccination rates rise and schools return to in-person learning. It’s time to reimagine and rebuild our education system to center relationships, support the whole child, invest in school staff, make learning relevant and rigorous, and constantly work towards equity and racial justice. We know this is possible because there are schools across California that are already striving for and living this vision. In “Beacons of Hope,” we highlight California school communities that are:

  • Prioritizing and protecting student mental health
  • Helping new students find community and connection through peer mentorship
  • Creating small learning communities to support students and improve equity and outcomes
  • Strengthening school teams through deep relationships
  • Transforming school culture by hiring parents to engage families
  • Meeting school needs through shared decision-making among students, staff, and families

These bright spots can provide inspiration and guidance for students, families, educators, and advocates across California so that we can spread practices like these across the state and transform the system so that every young person gets to thrive in a school and community built for them.

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