Education Strategy

Opportunities for all Oakland students to excel and achieve in high-quality schools

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Since 2003, the Rogers Family Foundation has been committed to improving educational opportunity and achievement for all Oakland students. We believe all students can and should be ready for kindergarten, can learn to read, can rise to the challenge of keeping pace academically year over year, and can graduate high school prepared for college or career. Their potential and capacity for excellence deserve more investment.

To support our vision for Oakland education, our strategy intentionally focuses on three key areas—Schools, Building Capacity, and Enabling Conditions—and places students at the center. We believe that to produce effective, long lasting improvement in student learning outcomes, our strategy must act across many of the nested systems and relationships that directly shape a student’s life – these include parents/caregivers, individual schools, charter management organizations, the school district, as well as public education as a whole (and its many actors) in Oakland.

In fall 2020, the Foundation announced that by 2025 we will sunset our Oakland education grantmaking and operations. From the start the Foundation was not designed to exist in perpetuity. As such, this will be the Foundation’s last strategic plan. In addition to grantmaking in Oakland Education over the five year spend down period, we will also make grants that stabilize and build capacity in those organizations that we have partnered closely with over the last 18 years in order to ensure that those organizations are in a position of financial strength to continue their important work long after the conclusion of our grantmaking. Reach out to any of our team to discuss your questions or concerns about the spend down.

Every Oakland student will succeed in school, thrive in their careers, and engage in their community.

Placing students at the center, our Oakland Education Strategy focuses on investing in schools and supporting skill-building and relationship development for adults who support students.


The Rogers Family Foundation strategic plan for Oakland education focuses on students through investing in schools and supporting skill-building and relationship development for adults who support students. 

Our Education Strategy

As outlined in our current Oakland Education Strategy, our team and grantee partners will focus on the following areas:

Schools – We will partner and invest in schools with bold and tailored plans that seek to realize dramatic improvements for students, have a clear track record of partnership with the Foundation or a willingness to build such a partnership, and demonstrate an enthusiasm across the school for continued partnership and funding. School teams, which ideally reflect the students and families they serve, will have clear, explicit plans that honor students’ potential and capacity for excellence while simultaneously working to dismantle the status quo and build on the inherent strengths of students and families. 

Together, the strategic areas of Building Capacity (skills) and Enabling Conditions (relationships) center the student experience and ultimately seek to create the connections to ensure equitable access to high quality education.  

  • Building Capacity is the work of developing skills and knowledge across all groups: students, parents, educators, and leaders. 
  • Enabling Conditions is the work of nurturing and building the relationships necessary to let those skills and that knowledge take root and transform our schools and ultimately public education.

While the strategic work in which we invest will be centered on student success, grantees in these two strategic areas might also work with adults – families, teachers, principals, system leaders – in support of students.