What We Believe

We believe that growing the ranks of citizen-advocates will change the trajectory of children’s lives.

Reimagining American K–12 education is more than a just cause, it’s the most important work we can do as a democracy. The only way we can reach the goal of a high-quality education for all children, regardless of address, is by democratizing advocacy itself: casting aside one-size-fits-all, top-down mandates and growing a larger, more diverse, more dynamic leadership corps.

Equipped with nonpartisan research and proven tools, citizen-advocates can drive the creation of stronger, more equitable schools in every state and community—and usher in an era where every child has the opportunity to achieve the American dream.

We believe in the power of evidence-based policy and the power of open advocacy.

All of our campaigns must start with proven theories of change—what we have seen add up to a real difference in students’ lives. That means researching the best policies for kids and learning from the results on the ground in communities across the country. It also means a commitment to open advocacy by making our tools and training methods easily accessible. This openness strengthens accountability, accelerates learning and promotes trust.

We aim to constantly ask, “How can we do this better? What can we learn from other movements? What technologies and policies can we develop and use?” Like the students we work so hard to serve, advocacy thrives on a constant flow of new ideas and sound knowledge.

We believe that nationwide change depends on a network of local advocates.

Education advocacy campaigns should be led by advocates who are part of the communities that they’re working to improve. We aim to recruit these smart, passionate people from every walk of life because no place or profession has a monopoly on producing them—they can be seasoned advocates or entirely new to the movement.

No one should have to work in isolation: by embracing a sense of community, advocates become part of an inspiring national network of talent and ideas.

We believe that to improve education for all students, we need an unwavering commitment and a clear-eyed approach.

Education advocacy is a marathon, not a sprint: it demands equal parts resilience and accountability. We strive to have the tenacity to stay the course regardless of the obstacles, and the dexterity to incorporate emerging developments. This is a mindset that will ensure that we gain momentum across the nation.

We see every win—and every setback—as an opportunity to learn what’s working today and envision what might be possible tomorrow.

How We Work

Learn how we put these beliefs into action with our organization’s new strategic plan.

Read the 50CAN Strategic Plan