It’s not often that you get a nod from something created at the behest of the President.
But that’s what the Strive Partnership and the Strive Network got this week. A new report by the White House Council for Community Solutions singled out the cradle to career partnership, noting its success in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky in increasing high school graduation rates and college-attendance rates over a six-year period.
The report, titled “Community Solutions for Opportunity Youth,” is meant to highlight successful strategies to empower America’s youth, particularly those between ages 16-24 who have become disconnected from both school and jobs. It was presented to President Obama this week, and identified a dozen communities across the country where multiple sectors have pulled together in order to increase progress by more than 10 percent on a community-wide metric, and more than 100 additional communities that are making progress in this direction.
In a statement, Jeff Edmondson, Managing Director of the Strive Network, said, “Once a community begins to focus their collective efforts to improve specific outcomes, the dial on student achievement will really start to move. That’s what our work is all about and that is what this report affirms. Over the long-term, the social and economic payoff is substantial for communities who do this well.” Edmondson, the founding director of the Strive Partnership during its infancy in 2005, is now scaling the work nationally.
Also significant: The report comes on the heels of the U.S. Department of Education’s recently announced Race to the Top district competition, which awards school districts for developing partnerships that lead to “Cradle to Career Results, Resource Alignment and Integrated Services.” In essence, it gives districts working with partners a path to shift from loosely defined collaboration to concrete goals and expectations for performance and accountability among all those who are investing time, talent and treasure in the success of children.
Strive is no stranger to praise, but coming from the highest office in the land is reason to feel proud. This is tough, tough work. So it’s encouraging that other communities are being encouraged to get off the sidelines and take responsibility for the education and economic outcomes for their youth using Strive as a model. And it’s heartening that the message is getting through at the institutional level.
Read the full report here.