Equal Opportunity Schools And Chan Zuckerberg Initiative: Transforming Education For Every Student

This is an excerpt from an article published in The Seattle Medium on December 13. It is part of a series produced by Word In Black with support by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a funding partner of EOS.

By Aaron Allen, The Seattle Medium

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), the philanthropic arm of Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, recently released a report showing the progress made over the last eight years due to their support of various efforts to enhance the educational experience and opportunities of students across the country.

One of the organizations highlighted in the report was Equal Opportunity Schools (EOS), a Seattle-based non-profit that focuses on the encouragement of underrepresented student populations to enroll in upper-level college prep courses.

Through a blend of analysis, partnerships, and data, EOS assisted and supported school districts and their individual schools by providing students, particularly underrepresented students, with pathways to realizing their full academic potential. EOS encourages them to pursue their dreams and accomplish their goals by enrolling in upper-level classes like AP and Dual enrollment programs.

According to their website, EOS looks to enhance a child’s ability to make a significant difference and impact on the world and works with schools to ensure every student is seen, understood, and has the opportunity to realize their full potential.

In 2022, EOS received $3 million to support and expand a multi-year redesign of the Action For Equity (A4E) Survey and Student Insight Card. This support has led to a significant increase in the number of students enrolled in advance coursework, and 80 percent of the schools they support have maintained or increased average course pass rates.

“We are proud of our partners’ accomplishments over the past eight years. Thanks to the work of our partners, more schools are embracing a whole child approach to learning, yet we know there is still work to be done to ensure high-quality research-based teaching practices are more accessible to all teachers and students,” said Gaby López, Senior Director, Research to Practice at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. “Organizations like Equal Opportunity Schools who work hand-in-hand with educators and schools to make improvements together play a critical role in driving positive change across the country.”

According to EOS, some of the impacts on school districts around the region and across the country consist of improving student belonging and achievement.

During a yearlong research effort, EOS surveyed two million students to gain insights beyond GPA and test scores to increase enrollment in advanced courses. In the 2022–2023 school year, EOS partnered with 447 high schools and surveyed more than 25,000 educators to measure the effectiveness of the school system and adult mindsets on equity. In addition, EOS ensured over 10,000 additional students were enrolled in advanced courses.

“Equal Opportunity Schools has made great progress towards ensuring every student can reach their full potential,” said López. “Their commitment to expanding access to rigorous academic opportunities to more students–especially those who are often underserved–is a great example of what it takes to combine research with tech tools to help educators meet the needs of every student.”

Read the full article here.