Success Boston announces a new shared equity framework

May 2, 2022

On May 2, 2022, about 100 people gathered at the Brice C. Bolling Building, the headquarters of the Boston Public Schools, as Success Boston welcomed Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, along with partners from the BPS and a number of Massachusetts colleges and universities, for the formal announcement of Success Boston's renewed commitment to increasing college completion for all BPS graduates.

At the heart of the effort is a renewed commitment to a shared equity framework that enhances Success Boston’s goal of achieving a 70% college completion rate for Boston Public Schools graduates by setting the same benchmark for all demographic groups within the graduating classes, with a focus on the success of historically and currently underserved groups, particularly young men of color.

Click here to watch the event video

Boston Foundation Associate Vice President for Education to Career Elizabeth Pauley emceed the event, highlighting the progress that Success Boston has made in increasing the college completion rate from its founding in 2008. At that time, the college completion rate for BPS graduates who attended college was just 35 percent for the BPS Class of 2000 - a rate which Success Boston helped increase to 54 percent for the BPS Class of 2012.

In addition to Mayor Wu's remarks, the event included a welcome from BPS Chief Equity and Strategy Officer Charles Grandson, and inspiring remarks from UMass Boston Chancellor Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, Boston Private Industry Council chair Darren Donovan, and from Success Boston coach (and former student) Wilmer Quiñones Melo, who recognized his own coaches for making it possible for him to graduate from the Benjamin Franklin (now Benjamin Franklin Cummings) Institute of Technology, and inspired him to pay it forward as a Success Boston coach working with students at Bunker Hill Community College.

The 40-minute event wrapped up with a video compilation from college presidents from across Massachusetts, each of whom pledged their commitment to the success of BPS graduates. In all, 15 higher education institutions, including both two- and four-year colleges, have pledged their commitment to the work in this new phase of Success Boston.

Mayor Wu at Shared Commitment launch
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu addresses the audience of more than 100 ar the Success Boston event.

Four Key Commitments

The new Equity Framework includes four key commitments by the Success Boston partners. They include:

  • DEEP UNDERSTANDING: Develop a deep and shared understanding of the barriers that students, particularly Black and Latino male students, face and the policies and practices in our systems that create these barriers.
  • SYSTEMS & INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE: Coordinate and accelerate system-level change, including asset-based interventions, share lessons learned with our constituencies, and advocate for piloting and scaling effective integration into institutional contexts.
  • POLICY ADVOCACY: Develop and collectively advocate for a shared Success Boston policy agenda at the city, state, and federal level that advances equity-minded practices, increases and allocates resources equitably, values students’ cultural wealth, and increases program completion.
  • NEAR-TERM STUDENT SUCCESS STRATEGIES: While we work on systems change, we will continue to close equity gaps by providing near-term asset-based success strategies to assist students as they navigate through and across systems.