We are committed to a grassroots movement to end educational inequity and ensure that all Minnesota students have access to a quality K-12 education. We believe that the strongest advocates for education reform are the students and families who experienced the school system's injustices firsthand. Because of our services, our members are developing 21st-century leadership skills and organizing their own grassroots campaigns.
Scope of our work
In 2016, we:
- Supported a membership base of 200+ members and over 3,000 supporters.
- Hosted workshops to educate families on school quality, advocating for their students and the grievance process.
- Led regular trainings on organizing and influencing education policy.
- Achieved 63 media hits in local and national outlets, broadening public awareness of education reform issues.
- Supported our members to address concerns of racial discrimination in two schools, resulting in meetings with school administrators and significant changes at the school level.
- Led our Reimagine Remedial and school resource officer campaigns at the legislature.
- Held a march and vigil for victims of police violence - whether in the schools or the community.
- Provided accountability and resources for improvement to local school boards by mobilizing our members to attend school board meetings through our Board Watch program.
- Cosponsored a youth forum to provide input on the Saint Paul police chief search and a forum to provide feedback on proposed changes to the Saint Paul curfew law.
- One of our SFER alumni, Fue Lee, who is just 24 years old, ran for state legislature and won his election in North Minneapolis by an overwhelming margin.
We’re just getting started, but we’ve already making an impact. Here are just a few of our accomplishments in our five years organizing here in Minnesota:
- Raised awareness among legislators, civic leaders, and the media of the remedial education crisis, which disproportionately impacts low-income students and students of color.
- Led the local community organizing that led to the filing of Forslund v. MN to fight unjust state laws that keep effective teachers in the classroom - and ineffective teachers out. Our organizers met with over 250 parents through the State and heard their experiences and struggles with teacher quality.
- Demanded training, rules, and evaluation of school resource officers to end the school-to-prison pipeline.
- Pressured Minneapolis Public Schools to add appropriate funding for the Office of Black Male Student Achievement.
- Held a Minneapolis school board candidate forum focused on education issues for families in the community.
- Trained MN students and families to lead grassroots organizing and advocacy campaigns.
- Monitored local school board meetings to hold school board members accountable to student outcomes and rated and reported on the board's performance.