Today in West Contra Costa, more than 30,000 students and their families are counting on our district-run and charter schools to help them achieve their dreams.
Yet, our current reality is that fewer than 1 in 4 of our low-income elementary schoolers meets standards for reading or math. Only 26 percent of our African-American and Latino high school graduates qualify for admission to the UC or Cal State systems.
West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) is one of California’s lowest-performing school districts. In the annual District Report Cards issued by The Education Trust –West in 2013 — which evaluates our state’s 149 largest unified districts based on how well they serve Latino, African-American, and low-income students — WCCUSD ranked very last in the performance level of its low-income students, and third to last in the performance level of its students of color. Indeed, the majority of our children are from historically underserved groups (see sidebar).
With belief in our students and partnership from our community, we believe there is great potential for positive change.
In 2015, a group of parents, educators, and community allies began meeting to discuss their shared experiences working with children and families, and the need for collaboration to improve West Contra Costa public education.
Through these discussions, they decided to partner with GO Public Schools, a new state-level organization supporting local communities in education organizing and policy advocacy. To steer the partnership and guide GO Public Schools West Contra Costa’s priorities, this group committed to serving as our founding Leadership Council.