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A bold vision to advance racial equity and prepare underserved youth to thrive in work and life

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  What is OOMA? 

The Open Opportunity – Massachusetts (OOMA) initiative creates space to connect, coordinate and align existing efforts across the education field. Through a network approach OOMA connects grasstops with grassroots organizations while placing community expertise and leadership at the center of improvement efforts. By 2021, OOMA aims to invest in demonstration sites across the Commonwealth to remove barriers to effective partnership, identify innovative approaches to advance racial equity and prepare underserved youth for work and life as well as inform local and state policy for systems-wide change. 

Why Act Now?

Equality of opportunity is, and has been, on the decline. Racial and economic segregation has intensified educational gaps between rich and poor students, and between white students and students of color. The results of these inequities are pervasive in our education system and beyond. African Americans, Latinx, and other racial and ethnic minorities are underrepresented in leadership, underserved in schools and confronted with large gaps in opportunity and achievement when compared to their white peers. 

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By 2021 OOMA will have: 


An energized network of grasstops and grassroots leaders represented by 95% of network members participating in a minimum of 75% of collective activities.


A full commitment to racial equity as represented by 100% consensus among network members for OOMA’s vision statement and core strategies identified by the four leverage teams.


Authentic representation of communities as represented by grassroots organizations and local residents comprising a minimum of 25% of OOMA network members.


Full engagement with at least two communities and ongoing work to build capacity to move forward implementation of improvement strategies proposed by the four leverage groups.

All students will be self-sufficient, community-oriented, civic minded, adaptable, and innovative global citizens- OOMA North Star Goal

to 4 Leverage Strategies

 4 Leverage Strategies 

To make progress towards our North Star goal, we will activate four key Leverage Strategies to drive systems-wide change for families, students, and educators combined with a strong public narrative.

Build Thriving Families

Promote family capital through a cross-sector collaborative model promoting parent empowerment and utilization of resources for advancement

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Shift from compliance based “schooling” to liberated education by focusing on students’ mental and physical well being, civic and community engagement, belonging, agency and self-affirmation to directly improve students’ academic outcomes and life long success

educate the whole child
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Engage a coalition of practitioners who will seek to influence the enactment of  state level policy, advise the field and work more cohesively across the continuum

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Develop and disseminate a new message around opportunity and social capital to increase political will and implementation of new policies designed to advance racial equity in both economics and education 

Shift the public narrative
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to Initiatives

OOMA Initiatives


Liberated LearninG:

Campus Without Walls

a System transformation focused on liberation and anti-racism

A Campus Without Walls (CWW) leverages the power of technology to break down the silos of traditional brick and mortar schools to promote greater equity, access, and opportunity for all students. Through a statewide cross-sector collaboration of schools, universities, businesses and community-based organizations, a Campus Without Walls can deliver a 21st Century education that is meaningful, relevant and rigorous through a combination of traditional and remote learning. Our goal is that all students will be intrinsically motivated, gain greater access, and take full advantage of a wide range of learning opportunities that prepare them to thrive in a rapidly changing digital world.

Community as the Learning Platform, Technology as the Tool
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Open Access

Learning at home, in the community, in schools and online, where all students, regardless of zip code, have access to great teachers 


Teacher as Facilitator

Broaden what we mean by educator, with facilitators that mirror the racial and ethnic diversity of our students

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Multi-faceted Relationships

  • Family Engagement & Partnership

  • Peer-to-peer

  • Student-to-mentor

  • Student-to-community 

  • School-to-school

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Student Voice AND Agency 

Individualized Learning Plans that redefine and re-shape advancement and the definition of success

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Whole Child at the Center

Explicit focus on addressing all developmental domains through individualized student supports

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De-colonized Curriculum

That focuses on real-world/deep learning and prepares students for a 21st century workplace 

 Leadership Team 

Open Opportunity – Massachusetts (OOMA) is a cross-sector network of 40+ like-minded organizations that has come together to transform our education system by tearing down the barriers that segregate students and their families by race and class. Together, we represent communities, schools, labor, business, nonprofits, and government agencies and have a well-established track-record of working in Massachusetts to improve student outcomes and achieve sustainable change. Below are the eight members of the Leadership Team for Open Opportunity.

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Open Opportunity-MA is funded by Nellie Mae Education Foundation 

Network Partners

America Student Assistance 

Big Picture Learning

Black Educators Alliance


Boston Impact Initiative

Boston Opportunity Agenda

Boston Private Industry Council

Boston Public Schools

Boston Teachers Union


Bunker Hill Community College

Burlington Public Schools

Chelsea Public Schools

Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color

Center for Collaborative Education

Center for Optimized Student Supports, Boston College

Codman Academy Charter Public Schools

Collaborative for Educational Services

Community Charter School of Cambridge

Community Teamwork

Conan Harris & Associates LLC

Education Resource Strategies

Eos Foundation/Grove Hall Alliance

Framingham State University

Harvard Graduate School of Education

Higher Ground

Holyoke Public Schools


Lawrence Community Work, Inc.

Massachusetts Budget & Policy Center

MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Mayor's Office of Workforce Development, BPDA

MA New Superintendent Induction Program

Nellie Mae Education Foundation

Next Generation Learning Challenge

Northeastern University

Schott Foundation for Public Education

South End Community Health Center

Springfield Public Schools


Sulfolk University

The Education Trust

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Urban League of Springfield


Open Opportunity- MA is backboned by the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy.

For more information or to join the initiative please contact Chad d'Entremont,

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