I wanted to share a GREAT endorsement of the work we are doing with Milwaukee Succeeds. This month, the educational trade magazine “District Administration,” with a subscription base of 200,000+ K12 leaders across virtually every district in the United States, published a nice article “Community Collaboration builds in low-income districts.” Click here to read the article. Here’s a nice quote: “Under today’s cross-sector collaborations, these groups can communicate more effectively to align purposes and strategies, and can identify areas where each partner’s expertise is needed most.”
“I also wanted to share with you a “Letter to the Community” celebrating National Teacher Appreciation Week from our own Goal 3 manager, Jonathan Dunn..
Have a great week.. I think Spring has finally sprung!
See you soon,
Danae Davis | Executive Director
101 W. Pleasant St., Suite 210, Milwaukee, WI 53212
Community collaboration builds in low-income districts
Organizations involved in Milwaukee Succeeds work to improve educational and social services
By Alison DeNisco — District Administration, May 2016
Urban districts struggling with budget cuts can increasingly look to foundations, nonprofits and private companies for support in driving district success efforts—from enhancing instruction to expanding healthcare to boosting college preparation.
“Collaboration across sectors is necessary to solve problems whose root causes are complex and multifaceted, and which need extensive, coordinated resources from many different sources,” says Carolyn Riehl, associate professor of education at Columbia University’s Teachers College and co-author of the March report “Collective Impact and the New Generation of Cross-Sector Collaborations for Education.”
Researchers in that study found 182 collaborations nationwide as of January 2015. These constitute foundations, government offices, nonprofits, social service agencies, community organizations and private companies working with school systems to improve student outcomes.
The initiatives’ goals vary, and include increasing rates of childhood immunization, improving third-grade reading proficiency, keeping students on track for high school graduation, ensuring college access, and advancing post-graduation employment opportunities.
For example, the organizations involved in Milwaukee Succeeds—an initiative funded largely through philanthropic dollars supplemented by government funds—work together to improve educational and social services for students in the city.
Milwaukee Succeeds brings together staff and volunteers from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Public Schools and other agencies. Its programs cover literacy, early childhood vaccinations, developmental screenings, social-and-emotional learning and increased access to higher education.
Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Darienne Driver, a member of the organization’s executive committee, helps determine goals to pursue, monitors progress, and networks with other leaders to keep initiative running.
Communication and leadership
In the past, organizations working individually have provided overlapping services, ignored other school needs and had a hard time finding resources.
Under today’s cross-sector collaborations, these groups can communicate more effectively to align purposes and strategies, and can identify areas where each partner’s expertise is needed most.
To make the partnerships work, district administrators should provide leadership, programmatic support, time and personnel, Riehl says.
For example, in Milwaukee, the district’s chief academic officer and chief officer for innovation and technology serve in leadership positions with Milwaukee Succeeds. Data sharing is also often a component, Riehl says.
“School districts have much to gain if children come to school healthier and better prepared to succeed—and if local companies and colleges offer concrete opportunities for students to pursue their college and career goals,” she says.
In honor of your work, and in honor of your struggle, I thought I would share this letter I wrote many years ago celebrating the work of educators. I hope these words find you well and that they convey, even in a small way, my appreciation of your daily effort to help others reach their full potential.
With deep appreciation and respect,
“If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle.”
-Frederick Douglass, March 30, 1849
To My Fellow Colleagues, Wayfarers, and Friends:
I want to extend my deep appreciation for the work you do on behalf of children. It is my belief that you extend love and compassion, awaken intellectual curiosity, and create a sense of self-worth for a group of children who deserve nothing less. Our children need a caring community. However, as Mr. Douglass points out, if there is to be progress, there must be struggle as well. Take heart though, as this fight is not fought alone nor are the fruits of your labor hidden.
As you teach and encourage your children, and support their awakening dreams, you will realize that the struggle is both moral and physical, and it must be engaged. And once engaged, this struggle becomes one of the most beautiful acts in which you will ever be involved. I encourage you to hold on to this fact, no matter what the challenge.
I have come to realize that the greatest advocates for and supporters of this struggle lie right before us - among our fellow wayfarers, children, parents, and the communities in which we work. It is with them that you can and must rest your mind, body, and heart. If there is to be any measure of success, both individually and as a whole, it must be viewed as the result of a shared body of effort. If we are to count our years of service as a success at any level, the emphasis must be placed on the collective rather than the individual nature of that success.
As a product of a public education and as a former teacher myself, I know first-hand the impact caring intervention can have on students. Our children deserve zealous and caring people around them – people like you – to encourage them, to urge them on, and to be advocates for them in a society in which they are all too often disregarded and less valued. So let the ground be plowed, let it rain with great clashes of thunder and bright lightning, let the ocean roar its loudest…let it be a struggle of great heights, both moral and physical, and let us continue to lift up the importance of our children’s education, which will become their great emancipator and equalizer.