Focusing Our Resources
To ensure the efficient and effective deployment of our resources, BAEO applies the following criteria in selecting policies and programs that merit BAEO’s support.
Criteria for Assessing Programs and Policies
- The program focuses on the educational needs and interests of low-income and working-class Black families.
- The program provides genuine freedom and ease of participation for low-income and working-class Black families.
- The plan provides adequate funding to support the creation of high-quality learning environments and extend meaningful opportunities for low-income and working-class Black families.
- The program or policy supports genuinely innovative learning environments (not the same current ineffective institutional arrangements under a new name).
- The proposal demonstrates the potential to produce measurable positive results for Black students.
- The program or policy balances autonomy and strict accountability to allow genuine innovation while holding innovators to the highest performance standards.
Engaging Black educators and school leaders in the effort to expand options for Black families is critical to meeting our students’ needs and strengthening our communities. Thus, BAEO gives preference to policies and programs that encourage Black educational entrepreneurship.
We also consider the political climate and the strength of a region’s bipartisan coalition. Bipartisan support for proposed programs and policies is important not only to ensure passage in most cases, but also to protect promising initiatives during times of political volatility.
Criteria for Selecting Geographic Targets
- The number of low-income and working-class Black families represents a “critical mass,” i.e., a population sufficiently large to ensure that BAEO’s involvement would have a significant impact on the educational and political landscape
- The educational achievement of Black students is below the average of the larger student population
- Low-income and working-class Black families have limited access to high-quality educational options
- There exists a strong viable chapter and/or a cadre of activists capable of executing tactics to support a strategic plan
- BAEO board members and/or staff can be deployed to connect with potential supporters, decision-makers, and opinion-shapers in the city or state
- BAEO has the resources to build and sustain a sufficient base of support
- BAEO can align our work with that of our allies by establishing an effective coalition