Voqal believes that the opportunity gap is the most pervasive and damaging problem in the U.S. educational system. Addressing this complex and multi-faceted problem cannot be achieved through any one solution. With this reality in mind, the Education Opportunity Project seeks to measurably reduce educational opportunity gaps by providing capital and strategic advice to entrepreneurs and organizations working to improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged populations. In this month’s Education Opportunity Project spotlight, we take a look at one of those cutting edge organizations, the National Education Policy Center (NEPC).
The National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado Boulder produces and disseminates high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions guided by the belief that the democratic governance of public education is strengthened when policies are based on sound evidence.
The Education Opportunity Project specifically supports work associated with the NEPC’s Schools of Opportunity recognition program. The Schools of Opportunity project arises out of the reality that existing recognitions strongly favor schools that enroll students who, outside of school, have the richest opportunities. These recognitions favor high schools that are selective or serve students who are affluent. While many of those schools are indeed outstanding, we believe it important to recognize schools that are excellent because they engage in research-based practices that focus on closing gaps in opportunity, regardless of the students they serve.
Providing the highest-quality education means creating rich opportunities to learn by addressing the educational factors that are under the control of schools. Accordingly, this project recognizes high schools that have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to equity and excellence by giving all students the opportunity to succeed. Based on the principles of the Closing the Opportunity Gap book, it recognizes schools for engaging in proven practices that close opportunity gaps for student learning. In doing so, it encourages such practices by bringing attention to what good schooling looks like, by showing policymakers alternative ways to ascertain school performance, and by inspiring schools to build capacity and thus improve learning outcomes for all students.
At Voqal, we strive to honor the legacy of Educational Broadband Service (EBS) by supporting organizations that envision a more equitable education system in the United States. We look forward to continued the efforts of the National Education Policy Center to make this vision a reality.