Transforming Systems for African American Male Achievement - Puget Sound Educational Service District and Kingmakers of Oakland Partnership
Did you know?
The academic achievement gap between White students and Students of Color has been well documented. Black and Hispanic students trail their white peers by an average of more than 20 points in math and reading or about two grade levels. The gap for Black males, in general, is even wider, a situation that has not significantly changed for the past 40 years (Kathya Alexander, South Seattle Emerald newspaper).
Puget Sound Educational Service District’s (PSESD) collaboration with Kingmakers of Oakland (KOO) supports schools and districts transforming systems, leading in service of Black boys while also changing conditions more broadly for our region’s Youth of Color. The KOO and PSESD partnership reflects both a recognition of the powerful regional work that has been building momentum in Seattle Public Schools and Kent School District AND the potential for building on that momentum through future opportunities to strengthen a regional coalition between KOO, PSESD, and partner districts.
Kingmakers of Oakland originated in the Oakland Unified School District’s Office of African American Male Achievement (AAMA). After 10+ years in the district, KOO became an independent non-profit and now supports school districts across the U.S. to improve the educational and life outcomes of Black boys by “healing the fish while treating the toxic ecosystem.” To address a universal problem (the U.S. education system not equitably supporting all students), KOO utilizes a targeted approach, serving a community that our education system has profoundly underserved - Black boys. KOO’s model addresses multiple systems levers including culturally relevant curriculum and pedagogy, recruitment and retention of Black male teachers, and the amplification of youth voice and agency through their nationally renowned Street Team.
Based on our region’s opportunities and priorities, PSESD’s partnership with KOO focuses on elevating Youth of Color voice and leadership. As part of the Road Map Improvement Collaborative, KOO is supporting the thought partnership, strategy, and co-design of 4 learning and action sessions in 2021-2022 alongside PSESD’s Youth Wisdom Council. These sessions will support Road Map district teams in their self-assessment of their Youth of Color leadership work, increase youth voice and engagement across district decision-making tables, and build school and district capacity for supporting time, space, and engagement for Black, Indigenous, and Youth of Color leadership.