Engaged: Engaging caring adults in the success of their schools

Parents, teachers, unions, community leaders, philanthropies and businesses are engaging as collaborators in the effort to dramatically improve their public schools.


Heath Morrison, former superintendent of Nevada's Washoe County School District and Broad Academy graduate, actively engaged teachers, parents, principals, business leaders, school volunteers and more than 22 community-based organizations in developing the district’s strategic plan and in creating a new Parent University in 2011. The Parent University offered classes to help parents support their child’s learning, navigate the school system, develop leadership and advocacy skills, and access resources on parenting, family health and wellness. Learn more: “A Teacher on Special Assignment”


Delaware became one of the first two states to receive Race to the Top funding—$119 million—under former state secretary of education and Broad Academy graduate Lillian Lowery’s statewide collaboration with teachers, parents, superintendents, school boards, public charter schools and the business community to improve the state’s education system.


Jose Torres, superintendent of Elgin School District in Illinois and Broad Academy graduate, engaged parents through an African-American Education Summit and Hispanic Parent Leadership Institute beginning in 2011. Through these efforts, parents of nearly 20,000 Hispanic and 3,000 African- American children received opportunities to become more involved in closing achievement gaps by advocating for change. Parents also received information on how to access dual language programs, which put students whose first language is Spanish into a classroom with students whose first language is English so all learn both languages simultaneously. Learn more: How Torres is reinventing the dual language program.


Ash Solar, Broad Residency graduate and former manager of talent development for Oakland Unified School District in California, worked to overcome a period of strained relations between teachers and the district by launching a teacher-led “Effective Teaching Taskforce” to engage the Oakland community in supporting teachers and students. The taskforce’s recommendations served as the basis of the district’s new five-year strategic plan. Solar, a former Oakland teacher, held community and teacher listening tours, a speakers series with prominent education policy professors, Linda Darling Hammond of Stanford University and Pedro Noguera of New York University, and a three-day teacher convention attended by 200 teachers.