California Mayors Education Roundtable
about the project
The California Mayors Education Roundtable (MRT), a WestEd initiative funded by the James Irvine Foundation, works with California mayors to support their active participation in state and local conversations that will shape education policies, resources, and opportunities far into the future.
The MRT convenes mayors, school superintendents, and their key staff and shares data, evidence-based and promising practices, and programmatic strategies that can help them address local issues affecting students' educational and career success.
The MRT also helps these policymakers and education leaders develop common ground for collective work on statewide education policy and related legislative initiatives.
The MRT works in the following three arenas to provide a range of support to member cities,* which have identified as their initial focus strategies that can help turn around the state's escalating dropout rate:
State Policy: The MRT helps mayors: strengthen relationships with legislative leaders, build strategic partnerships, develop policy recommendations, and advocate for legislation that can help improve outcomes for students, reverse the dropout rate, and strengthen schools and communities across the state.
Local Action: The MRT offers technical assistance and support to mayors, school superintendents, their respective staff, and community stakeholders to build political will and cross-sector engagement in planning local education agendas; and to develop and implement evidence-based approaches to improving outcomes in their cities.
Mayors Roundtable Resource Network: The MRT serves as a portal to information resources that can help members address critical issues into the future. It is building a library of research and policy analyses on best practices, a decision support tool, and, in partnership with key contributors, generating data that demonstrate the staggering individual, social, and economic costs of dropping out of school. It translates this information to help member cities frame local action, strategic investments, and policy strategies that can create long-term, sustainable benefits for children and communities.
Having secured commitments of support from the Governor and state legislative leaders, the MRT is poised to accelerate changes in policy and practice that can improve the odds students will stay in school and acquire the knowledge, skills, and support they need to become prepared for college, careers, and citizenship. Examples of projects of the MRT include:
Community Engagement: Building on initial work in Sacramento, the MRT is helping Mayor Kevin Johnson expand community participation in achieving education reforms, and is helping other cities and districts to collaborate in developing education improvement plans informed by community voice.
California Scholarship: With backing from California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell, 11 MRT member cities are learning from private foundations, steps they can take to create scholarship programs for economically disadvantaged youth in middle and high school.
Evidence-based Change: The MRT and member cities are planning to use data to frame local implications of dropout and achievement gap statistics, adjust policies to support strategic system improvements, and plan comprehensive student and family supports.
For more information, visit the California Mayors Education Roundtable website.