November 29 2010
Inaugural Partnership Signed Between Operation HOPE, Oakland Unified School District and Gallup
Los Angeles – November 29, 2010 – During the HOPE Oakland Financial Literacy Empowerment Forum held on October 19, 2010, Operation HOPE (HOPE) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) and Gallup, Inc. The signing, which involved OUSD Superintendent Dr. Tony Smith, Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton and HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant, commits to providing every student in the OUSD with financial literacy empowerment education through HOPE’s Banking on Our Future program and commits the district to taking part in the Gallup-Operation HOPE Financial Literacy Index.
“If the current financial crisis is any indicator, America needs more financial literacy,” said John Bryant who will serve the Obama Administration on the President’s Council on Financial Capability. “Providing students with practical lessons in the ‘language of money’ will give the youth of this country the tools they need to succeed.”
By signing this agreement HOPE and OUSD seek to support each other in their common goal to educate every single student in the Oakland school district in financial literacy, creating a new paradigm on how to provide financial literacy to students in every school across the nation and worldwide. These bold goals involve the training of HOPE Corps volunteers and OUSD educators in the BOOF curriculum.
“As our world changes at an ever increasing rate, so, too, must our education system adapt to the new realities students face,” said OUSD Superintendent Tony Smith. “Our work with Operation HOPE is a shining example of how school districts can partner to create innovative strategies that prepare children for success in college, success in career and success in life. By offering financial literacy instruction, which provides the basis for self-respect and self-sufficiency, Operation Hope is sharing life skills that create a positive ripple effect throughout our community.”
OUSD also became the first school district to sign on to take part in the newly created Gallup-Operation HOPE Financial Literacy Index. The index seeks to measure youth financial literacy and how their financial understanding affects their sense of hope, well-being, and engagement and ultimately the direction of their life.
“The next generation in this country is playing in the series of their lives,” stated Jim Clifton. “We must determine exactly what they require in order to successfully move forward.”
The next step for index research includes recruiting focus cities, including Oakland, for fall Gallup Student Poll participation and for possible subsequent implementation of HOPE programming. Once the first phase of the research is concluded, Gallup and HOPE will look to expand the partnership in the second phase and create a five-year strategic plan to roll out the entire index to the top 50 cities in the country.
The index comes to life thanks in part to the larger framework agreement established by HOPE and the Financial Services Roundtable (the Roundtable) in June 2009, signed during the HOPE Global Financial Literacy Summit. That agreement solidified the Roundtable’s commitment to work with HOPE in providing financial literacy education and support over the next five years. The Roundtable is an organization that represents 100 of the largest integrated financial services companies in the United States.
The Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is the State of California’s most improved urban school district over the past six years, as measured by Academic Performance Index (API), California’s primary metric for measuring student achievement. During this time, the District’s 46,000 students have benefitted from 118 points of API growth and a focus on the whole child embodied by OUSD’s “Community Schools, Thriving Students” vision for a full-service community school district. In this model, every school site offers high levels of learning along with physical health, mental health, dental and eye care; nutrition, physical education, recreation, before-school and afterschool programs; housing, employment and language acquisition courses and a range of other services. Social and human services are not seen as extra or add-ons in these schools. Instead, collaboration in service of the well-being of children and families is how these schools consistently behave.
Gallup has studied human nature and behavior for more than 75 years. Its reputation for delivering relevant, timely, and visionary research on what people around the world think and feel is the cornerstone of the organization. Gallup employs many of the world's leading scientists in management, economics, psychology, and sociology, and our consultants assist leaders in identifying and monitoring behavioral economic indicators worldwide. Gallup consultants help organizations boost organic growth by increasing customer engagement and maximizing employee productivity through measurement tools, coursework, and strategic advisory services. Gallup's 2,000 professionals deliver services at client organizations, through the Web, at Gallup University's campuses, and in more than 40 offices around the world.
About Operation HOPE, Inc.
Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been America’s leading financial literacy and empowerment nonprofit. With a presence in 70 U.S. cities and South Africa, HOPE has raised more than $500 million and helped to restructure more than $360 million in sub-prime mortgages from the private sector, for a total of approximately $900 million in economic activity for the disenfranchised in its pursuit of educating, assisting and inspiring the next generation of global stakeholders. With the support of more than 400 private sector companies, 3,500 nonprofit organizations and schools and 100 government partners, Operation HOPE has provided over 1.2 million low-wealth individuals with economic education and financial literacy support and empowerment. Taking the lead at making sure our free enterprise system is relevant to all underserved individuals and communities, Operation HOPE has taken on the responsibility of piloting the Silver Rights Movement and ensuring that free enterprise and capitalism work to provide a better future for all. To learn more about HOPE, visit our website at www.operationhope.org or follow us at www.twitter.com/operationhope, and www.facebook.com/operationhope.