It’s week 148 of our new reality and we are focused on what it will take to create the future our kids deserve with a look at the investments we are making in new ideas and new organizations.
In her research on the characteristics of change agents, sociologist Pamela Oliver observed that the most successful leaders are “more optimistic about the prospect of change and about the efficacy of their participation” than most of the people around them. Over the past 12 years since we first launched 50CAN, we have strived to take this insight to heart.
When looking for local leaders to partner with, new organizations to support or new staff for our national team, we have focused on people who are truly committed to the mission of putting kids first and who believe they can make a difference for kids every day. Helping positive, constructive people bring needed change to their communities has always been our North Star and it will continue to guide our work in the years ahead.
Last week, 50CAN President Derrell Bradford announced our 46 policy goals that our network will advocate for in 2023. These locally led, nationally supported policy change campaigns are a central element of how 50CAN is working to bring the future of education to life. At the same time, over the past several years we have made three complementary bets to these local advocacy campaigns to help more visionary leaders accelerate the pace of change:
- We are investing in fresh policies and new voices, who spark the ideas and shift the public conversation in favor of big educational changes that bring us together rather than driving us apart.
- We are also investing in educational entrepreneurs, who build new proof points of what’s possible in an education system where kids truly can learn anywhere.
- And we are investing in committed leaders on local school boards and in statehouses who serve the public by putting the interests of kids first.
Last time in the New Reality Roundup, we examined the shifting tides in education and the need to deliver on parents’ desire for something different while also looking at our partners’ predictions for 2023.
Today, in this Special Edition, we take a closer look at 50CAN’s build and spark initiatives with a focus on the year ahead.
FROM THE FIELD
Amanda Aragon and her team at NewMexicoKidsCAN are celebrating their fifth anniversary this week. Join others to support the team by making a donation to power the next five years of advocacy in the Land of Enchantment.
ConnCAN’s English Learner Parents’ Bill of Rights has found a new home in HB6211, gaining support from key members of the House Education Committee, the Black and Puerto Rican caucus and a handful of new partner organizations. We’ll keep you posted as the bill–and others–develop.
After months of conversation and congressional testimony by HawaiiKidsCAN’s David Miyashiro, the Hawaii Board of Education announced that “learn everywhere” has been officially added as a core value in the board’s strategic plan, laying the groundwork for multiple pluralistic learning opportunities to be developed for students.
GeorgiaCAN’s annual Atlanta School Choice Expo garnered the attention of local papers throughout the state. The event brought together parents with a variety of school operators to showcase the variety of school types and opportunities available to families.
Moment of Resilience
In this photograph, a younger Michael O’Sullivan at the Georgia State Capitol presents to some of the early members of the GeorgiaCAN parent coalition. Michael is celebrating his 10th anniversary as the leader of GeorgiaCAN this month and his work is an example of what we call in our AdvocacyLabs work “the power of persistence.” Year after year, Michael has pushed for big changes that expand options for kids and put more power and information in the hands of parents. “He’s taught me how to be a better advocate,” says ConnCAN Executive Director Subira Gordon. “Michael has a balance in being both passionate and objective at the same time. Using his ability to connect with people to his advantage, Michael is a powerhouse in the Georgia education advocacy and political world.”