Education for Change Public Schools was born through a strategic partnership between the Oakland Unified School District and the education reform community. It was originally designed to become a charter management organization that would focus on converting existing OUSD Program Improvement schools to charter schools to provide the flexibilities and agilities of charter law to existing district public schools.
The designers of EFCPS operated under the belief that a laser-like focus on aligning curriculum implementation and improving instruction in Mathematics and English Language Arts was the most critical lever for improving student outcomes at the Cox and Hawthorne sites. When Hawthorne Elementary and E. Morris Cox Elementary initially converted to become Education for Change public charter schools, their respective API scores were 596 and 556 with most children in every grade functioning at Far Below or Below Basic.
Over seven years, this laser-like focus has translated into enormous gains for all of the original EFCPS schools with Achieve and Cox achieving API gains of over 200 points on the former state assessment (California State Test). In 2012, Lazear Charter Academy, ASCEND, and Learning Without Limits, formerly OUSD schools, converted to become neighborhood charter schools as part of Education for Change. That same year, the EFCPS board passed a strategic plan to transition EFC from a K-5 school turnaround charter management organization to a preK-12 neighborhood transformation CMO. EFC’s schools are heavily concentrated in two target neighborhoods – the Fruitvale and Elmhurst. EFC is currently the largest K-8 public school operator in the Fruitvale. We are committed to, over time, transforming the neighborhood by using educational opportunity and outcomes to empower the families and their children. In the short term, we will measure our impact through student outcomes, but over time, our impact will be measured by how many children in our target neighborhoods graduate from college.
In 2017, EFC serves over 3,000 TK-8 students in six schools throughout East Oakland’s Elmhurst and Fruitvale neighborhoods. 90% of EFC’s student population qualifies for free or reduced lunch; 99% of EFC’s population are minorities; and 70% of students enter as English Language Learners.