Reflections from Education Innovation Officer, Colt Gill, on His Statewide Engagement

Looking Outside Oregon…

The last four days I have shifted away from statewide engagement to look to communities beyond Oregon’s borders. I have been attending the Community Convention by the America’s Promise Alliance. America’s Promise Alliance launched the GradNation campaign in 2010, building on 105 dropout prevention summits convened across the country to raise awareness and inspire action. GradNation is now a large and growing movement of dedicated individuals, organizations and communities working together to end America’s dropout crisis. Attending this has allowed me to learn from state and community leaders from across the country who have all focused improving graduation outcomes for students.

I have learned about public-private partnerships, programs that target historically underserved students, and policy initiatives that have made the transition into widespread practices and positive outcomes for children. These communities and states have proven that when an entire community comes together they can improve outcomes.

One of the many examples I learned from is the Academies of Nashville. This program includes over 350 private and public partnerships. It has improved their graduation rates by more than 9 percentage points over the last four years. Perhaps more importantly it has set students up with a plan for their future after high school graduation. Check-out this 5-minute video to learn more: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UdaxyyilbXs&feature=youtu.be.

The research of this week and next I’ll be wrapping up the statewide engagement with more conversations in Lane, Douglas, Marion, and Multnomah counties. Later this month or early in November we’ll be able to share back what we have learned from Oregon’s students, parents, educators, and community leaders.

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