Striving Together: Early Lessons in Achieving Collective Impact in Education

SUNY Press
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Chronicles the development of a framework for collective impact in education through the perspectives of its founders and lessons learned from pioneering sites.

In 2006, Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky had been suffering from many of the same challenges facing metro regions across the country. Despite significant investments in education from the public and private sectors, outcomes were alarming: Kindergarten readiness was below fifty percent, and nearly half of the students in the Cincinnati Public Schools were dropping out before high school graduation. Fortunately, a diverse group of community leaders across sectors was exploring a transformative approach to improving education as a system. This gathering of leaders was the genesis of the StrivePartnership, which served as the inspiration for the theory of collective impact. Together, these partners are building a cradle-to-career civic infrastructure based on the idea that everyone in a community has a stake in the success of every child.

This book chronicles the early stages of this ongoing journey from the perspective of the founding chair and director of this work, drawing upon lessons from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky and four other pioneering local partnerships. The experiences captured in these five regions helped lay the foundation for the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network, a national community of practice on the cutting edge of social change.

“I have always held that education is the responsibility of the entire community—not just the schools. StriveTogether’s experience shows that it is possible to drive the systemic change we need. I recommend this book to all who are looking for a community-wide roadmap to a better future for our children.” — Richard W. Riley, former US Secretary of Education

“No one sector can tackle society’s challenges alone. Striving Together’s practical guide offers excellent tools for leaders in all sectors to use in creating collaborative solutions to improve education and outcomes for children. It’s inspiring to see communities coming together to create opportunities for all children with a cradle-to-career approach.” — Stacey D. Stewart, US President, United Way Worldwide

“History provides many examples of efforts to help whole communities to thrive. Collective impact is the latest and most promising idea for how to get it done, and StriveTogether is the leading example on the ground. This book is a welcome contribution, representing the state of the art!” — Ronald F. Ferguson, Faculty Co-Chair and Director, the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University; Faculty Co-Director, Pathways to Prosperity at the Harvard Graduate School of Education
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About the author

Jeff Edmondson is Managing Director of KnowledgeWorks subsidiary StriveTogether and was the founding Director of the StrivePartnership. Nancy L. Zimpher is Chancellor of the State University of New York and Chair of the StriveTogether National Advisory Board.
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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Nov 1, 2014
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Pages
214
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ISBN
9781438456065
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / Aims & Objectives
Education / Decision-Making & Problem Solving
Education / Educational Policy & Reform / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The themes of this book resonate closely with the values of ACE: leadership, change, community partnership, and the importance of teacher education and learning. With higher education facing increasing financial constraints, and public education under continued strain, education leaders must dedicate their efforts to strengthening the partnership of higher education with K-12 education, and with the community, to ensure success. This book features examples of university leaders who took a personal interest in and led their institutions' efforts to improve the quality of teacher preparation, and to develop partnerships with school systems to ensure that more future teachers were recruited, prepared, and provided with an excellent transition into their teaching roles. The leaders used their power to mommunicate with campus communities and partner beyond their institutions, into the communities in which they are located. University Leadership in Urban School Renewal describes the role of the public urban university president and chancellor in providing leadership in P-16 education through activities undertaken in partnership with local urban school districts to improve the quality of teaching and learning. Leaders from urban institutions of higher education who are members of the 14 Great Cities' Universities--universities that collectively serve more than 340,000 students and prepare one-fifth of the nation's teachers--reflect upon their efforts to respond to the needs of education reform, particularly within the country's most challenging metropolitan environments. The authors describe strategies that make education reform the responsibility of all, from teacher education as a university-wide effort to university-community partnerships. They explicate the link from higher education to school districts, other educational institutions, local business, government, and the community at large. The authors asked 14 presidents of urban universities to make as explicit as possible their leadership actions and change strategies within the context of how they have worked to improve the quality of education for urban youth. The first-person accounts of these leaders reflect the important role of urban, state universities in addressing the pervasive problems in urban education as they illustrate the leadership practices of presidents and chancellors.
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