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Toward A Brighter Future

Excerpt from CSUMB Magazine - California State University

Successes in Alisal

Among the districts whose accomplishments were highlighted at the event was the Alisal Union School District, located in East Salinas.

In Alisal Community School, where 96 percent of the students are classified as economically disadvantaged, former English language learners are now outperforming the state average for all students in English/Literacy by 34 percentage points and scores have increased by 32 percentage points over three years. The same students are outperforming state averages in math by 11 percentage points and have increased scores by 17 percentage points over three years.


Data is in every conversation we have and in every meeting we host.

Cynthia Holmsky

The event highlighted the three pillars of Bright Futures. First is the use of data, not anecdotes, to determine what works in the classroom. Second is the sharing of information about classroom successes to encourage collaboration and change. And, third is reinforcing the message that, to be truly effective, educational changes must impact students from all income levels and ethnic groups.

“It’s the power of collaboration. That is really the spirit of Bright Futures,” Holmsky said. “We don’t add a lot of resources. Rather, we engage existing resources in new and innovative ways.

“Many organizations are working on improvement, but are doing it in isolation. We’re just saying ‘Hey, let’s share the same goals, share resources so we can achieve more improvement together. By connecting those dots, a lot of change is happening.’”