Non-profits are essential partners in this work, both as deliverers of service and as experts on what works and what doesn’t. As such, we expect to engage a number of non-profits directly in Networks associated with their missions.
How is the TCCC’s work about the success of ALL students when the report is so focused on an achievement gap distinguished by race and class?
We believe the factors that create gaps in student achievement affect all students in the way they cause teachers, schools and districts to channel their efforts towards students requiring the greatest attention. The way in which we will measure progress will account for both the gains made by all students (using average scores) and not just those who do not meet proficiency standards (using percentages of met/not met.)
TCCC has participated in two conferences/symposia related to Core Indicators along the cradle to career continuum and expects to hold others. Based on participation from these events, we will identify those with the expertise, experience and passion to work collaboratively. We’ll invite a small group, or Guiding Team, to meet and recommend a larger group to form the Network. The Guiding Teams will be charged with identifying members of a larger group that are representative of our region’s geographic, institutional and ethnic/racial diversity and that are well informed of the issues and causes associated with the Network’s area of focus.
We acknowledge deficiencies in PASS. And that mCLASS:CIRCLE is new and experiencing test administration issues. However the gaps and trends identified appear to be of such magnitude and consistency that we believe any reasonable margin of error estimate would not change the result. Moreover, the work ahead will rely much more heavily on leading indicators associated with causal factors such as student performance and behavior, health, family resources and other factors as determined by each Network.
Parents and families are at the heart of the work ahead. We will need input and engagement by those directly affected before any recommendations for change can be brought forward.
Superintendents of all four local public school districts are partners in this collaborative work, as are the presidents of all of the non-profit institutions of higher education in the tri-county area. The Networks to be formed around these Core Indicators will draw heavily on the knowledge, skills and perspectives of personnel from all of these school partners.
The Report findings confirm there is an achievement gap separating higher income, largely White students from lower income, largely Black and Hispanic students and that the gap is widening. While the schools in our four school districts play a central role in closing the gap, these findings suggest that the gaps are evident before children begin school and that factors outside of school are involved in its development and persistence.
The findings included in the first report will lead to the establishment of collaborative action networks dedicated to addressing the eight Core Indicators included in the report. These networks will be representative of the many different stakeholders involved in education, including those directly providing services to students and families in all three counties.
In addition to utilizing their own expertise and local perspective, these networks will use the information in this report, as well as additional disaggregated data provided by TCCC, to shape their efforts. The first two networks, dedicated to High School Graduation and Kindergarten Readiness, will begin work in March.
Using data as their guide, the partners engaged in these networks will evaluate what’s working, what’s not, and what opportunities there may be to better align their activities to address any gaps. Over time, we’ll implement continuous improvement measures to make sure our efforts are effective and our resources utilized as efficiently as possible.
In 2012, a group of leaders from throughout the tri-county region came together to focus on our community’s efforts for improving educational outcomes. These leaders included representatives from PreK-12 education, local colleges and universities, nonprofits, businesses, faith based organizations, and philanthropic, civic and community groups, and individual community volunteers. Knowing education is key to the quality of life and the economic success of the region, we committed to a vision where every child will graduate from high school prepared for either further education or a career in the modern workforce.
From this original group came the Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative (TCCC). Today, TCCC is led by a Board of Directors composed of 21 men and women in leadership positions throughout the community. A Community Leadership Council of more than 100 other leaders offer guidance, advocacy and support to the TCCC Board. Many other partner agencies and individuals are also part of our efforts; in the coming months, they’ll be mobilized through a series of networks focused on key assessment points across the educational continuum from cradle to career.