A bold vision to advance racial equity and prepare underserved youth to thrive in work and life
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Family Engagement & Partnership
Student Voice AND Agency
Individualized Learning Plans that redefine and re-shape advancement and the definition of success
Whole Child at the Center
Explicit focus on addressing all developmental domains through individualized student supports
That focuses on real-world/deep learning and prepares students for a 21st century workplace
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.
Open Opportunity-MA is funded by Nellie Mae Education Foundation
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
Conan Harris & Associates LLC
Education Resource Strategies
Eos Foundation/Grove Hall Alliance
Framingham State University
Harvard Graduate School of Education
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
Schott Foundation for Public Education
South End Community Health Center
Springfield Public Schools
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,