We are relentlessly pursuing the hope of a high-quality education for every child across the United States, regardless of their address, through a network of bottom-up local advocacy campaigns.
Environmentalist Aidan Ricketts once wrote that advocates “are like the immune system of the body politic—they move to the sites of … injustice and aim to fight, repair and heal.” It’s not hard to find examples of injustice in our education system but that's only half the story. Because when you look a little deeper you find ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
These injustices are not only being challenged but changed by accidental advocates who refused to look the other way when confronted with the reality that children in their community were not getting the education they deserved. Collectively these campaigns are transforming the way our education system works so that it works better for all kids.
These success stories, big and small, have convinced us that we are working on the most important issue of our day and approaching it with the most critical missing lever: nonpartisan, research-backed advocacy for policy change, driven forward by diverse local leadership and supported by best-in-the-nation thinking. Powered by an optimism that change is possible, we have grown from an idea born in an abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of New Haven, Connecticut, into a nationwide organization that finds, connects and supports great local leaders.
2013 was a year of tremendous growth for us. We expanded our work into North Carolina and New Jersey, we recruited new executive directors and new board leadership and we championed legislation in seven statehouses that resulted in 16 critical policy wins. This annual report recognizes our successes, our progress and our path ahead.
We are humbled by the dedication of our local leaders, community advocates, donors and staff and proud to play a role in redefining what’s possible in American education for the next generation of citizens whose possibilities stagger the imagination.