There is news today about the Golden State Warriors and it has nothing to do with Steph Curry’s three point shooting. Instead, it’s about the issue closest to our hearts here at One Public. Educational equity. And it comes in the form of a promise of $1.25 million in grants to more than fifty organizations up to the north of us in Alameda and San Francisco counties.
We are committed to helping close the achievement gap for disadvantaged youth in the Bay Area and are fortunate to be in a position to help. – Joe Lacob, Warriors CEO and owner
Just hearing the CEO and owner of an entity and brand like the Warriors talk about the achievement gap is not only refreshing but validating for the teachers and school leaders working tirelessly with populations whose backgrounds include trauma, poverty, and immigration journeys that most people in power can’t even fathom.
And it’s no secret that the home of the Warriors — San Francisco and Alameda counties — have been dogged by seemingly intractable achievement gaps. The latest data for Alameda County shows the following:
In the 2016 tests, 36 percent of the Black or African American student cohort met or exceeded requirements in English Language Arts, up slight from 35 percent the previous year.
However, those figures significantly lag behind the 74 percent figure for the White student cohort for 2016. Likewise, 74 percent of the Asian student cohort met or exceeded requirements in 2016.
From the Babies to the Big Kids
According to the announcement, the grants will support a wide variety of programs including early childhood education, elementary school literacy, middle schools, college access, and college persistence.
Perhaps Jose Gordon, the Executive Director of the Warriors Community Foundation sums it up best:
Social responsibility is a hallmark of good business and an integral part of our culture. By supporting efforts to improve access and opportunity for underserved students, we believe we can do our part to make a difference.
So, while we remain eternally grateful for the entertainment and exciting competition that Warriors basketball brings to kids and families, we are even more grateful for their willingness to see the problems around educational equity and be part of the solution.
Game on, kids.