Green Dot Public Schools

Small School Reform

THE ISSUE

Green Dot Public Schools was looking to build a comprehensive community and parent organizing framework for small school reform. Green Dot needed a partner to help them engage local residents, community leaders, and most importantly – parents.

THE DEL SOL GROUP STRATEGY

Del Sol Group developed a comprehensive LAUSD-wide needs assessment to test the 6 Tenets of High Performing Schools and Green Dot messaging platform, and to assess parent and community leadership interest in reforming education through a small school strategy. Del Sol Group was responsible for design and implementation of the following efforts:

  1. Organize small group meetings throughout Los Angeles, including East Los Angeles, South Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, Southeast Los Angeles and other LAUSD areas. Many of these small group meetings were held in people’s homes, which is often the most successful community building and community organizing strategy.
  2. Organize a door-to-door community-outreach campaign in targeted areas using a survey developed by Del Sol Group to measure their interest levels in education reform; their willingness to participate in larger community forums; and their interest in assuming a leadership role and their circle of influence.
  3. Arrange and coordinate meetings with key community leaders through faith-based & non-profit organizations. Del Sol Group coordinated focus groups, one-on-one meetings, community forums and community fairs/booths with targeted strategic partners.

THE RESULTS

The findings from the extensive needs assessment conducted by Del Sol Group laid the groundwork for an unprecedented show of public will and support for education reform. This grassroots effort led to an intense shift in attitude among community leaders, and the issue of education reform took center stage in the 2005 City of Los Angeles Mayoral Campaign. The needs assessment proved that parents and community stakeholders were willing to organize their community and engage with elected officials in their quest for education reform in LAUSD. This set incredible outcomes in action including:

  • The first March of the Parents on LAUSD Headquarters
  • The establishment of 14 new charter schools
  • Legislation that the CA State Assembly Speaker authored for Mayoral Accountability over LAUSD, AB 1381
  • The establishment of Mayor’s Partnership Schools
  • The adoption of LAUSD Policies which reflected small school reform, public school choice, among others
  • The election of a majority of members in favor of education reform to the LAUSD Board.