Good Schools

In many of the high schools in our cities less than half of all young people who begin 9th grade graduate. Those that do graduate are often not adequately prepared for college or work. PICO federations have developed innovative solutions such as small autonomous schools and new tools for engaging parents that are improving teaching and learning in public schools and closing the achievement gap.

Small Autonomous Schools

Oakland Community Organizations (OCO) crafted the first comprehensive small schools policy in the nation, resulting over 40 new schools and a strategy to transform the entire Oakland school system to support high quality instruction for all children. The small autonomous schools movement in Oakland is now serving as a model for school districts across the country that want to provide parents with high quality public education choices for their children.

Watch a video about the Oakland story: Changing the Face of Education in Oakland.

Parent-Teacher Home Visit Project

Parents and teachers in Sacramento Area Congregations Together created the first large-scale parent engagement strategy based on teacher home visits. Better communication between home and school helps both teachers and parents do their jobs better. With support from the California Teachers Association, PICO has won state legislation and federal funding for this innovative strategy which is now being used by more than 600 schools across the country.

Alternative budgeting

Since 2005, Metro Organizations for People (MOP) in Denver has been leading a campaign to ensure that every child in the Denver Public School system receives a fair share of district funding. In 2006, MOP won support for the implementation of student-based budgeting, a strategy that ties dollars to students, not staff, and ensures that those dollars go to the school in which the student enrolls. In 2008, MOP won another victory when the Superintendent committed to begin allotting additional funds for low-income students.