New policy guide calls on federal policymakers to support collective impact

KnowledgeWorks releases new policy paper to support community work


As the largest investor in the nation's education system, the federal government is in a unique position to help scale collective impact for reform.At a time when federal dollars are limited and educational investments are tight, collective impact has emerged as a method to align programs and dollars around measureable goals to support every student through school.

Today, KnowledgeWorks released a new policy guide, Improving Student Outcomes Through Collective Impact: A Guide for Federal Policymakers, calling on federal policymakers to support collective impact work in communities throughout the country, the organization announced today.

With supports, guidelines and a roadmap, collective impact would allow the federal government to strategically invest money in communities committed to quality collective impact. And the best part? It’s already working in local communities throughout the country to change outcomes for student.

“The federal government is the largest investor in our nation’s education system,” said Lillian Pace, KnowledgeWorks’ senior director of national policy. “Federal policymakers are in a unique position to leverage those resources and help every community establish collective impact partnerships that can identify, scale, and sustain impactful education reform.”

The paper gives a current landscape of collective impact work, offers recommendations for the federal government to align resources to support the work, and outlines strategic investments that policymakers and communities can use to establish an impactful collective impact partnerships. The paper also offers a set of six essential outcome areas that policymakers and communities should use to monitor collective impact efforts and align education initiatives across the education pipeline.

The recommendations featured in the guide build on the growing work of StriveTogether, a KnowledgeWorks subsidiary that works with communities nationwide to help build civic infrastructure and unite stakeholders around shared goals, measures and results in education to support the success of every child from cradle to career. Impacting more than 5.5 million students throughout the country, the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network includes more than 50 collective impact partnerships in 28 states and Washington, D.C.

“Partnerships around the country are impacting outcomes for students from cradle to career,” said Jeff Edmondson, StriveTogether managing director and co-author. “These communities already have the right partners and deep discipline needed to use data effectively so all resources achieve maximum impact.”

StriveTogether’s collective impact approach has gained national attention throughout the year from the Stanford Social Innovation Review, the U.S. Department of Education and the White House. Communities implementing the StriveTogether framework have seen dramatic improvements in kindergarten readiness, standardized test results and college retention.

Pace will present on the new policy guide on Friday, Oct. 17 in San Diego at the StriveTogether National Cradle to Career Network Convening. The convening will bring together more than 400 attendees from 28 states and Washington, D.C.

About KnowledgeWorks

KnowledgeWorks is a national nonprofit organization advancing a future of learning that ensures each student graduates ready for what’s next. For 20 years, we’ve been partnering with states, communities and leaders across the country to imagine, build and sustain vibrant learning communities. Through evidence-based practices and a commitment to equitable outcomes, we’re creating the future of learning, together.