More than 350 educators, elected officials, community leaders, business leaders and others representing 60 communities in 31 states are expected to attend the 2012 national Strive convening September 27 and 28 at the Frontier Airlines Center downtown.
Target, which has a long history of supporting education programs and partnerships that set students, teachers and schools up for success, is a signature sponsor of the event. Target is on track to give $1 billion for education by the end of 2015.
The convening, titled “Moving from Proving to Improving,” will explore how communities building a Cradle to Career civic infrastructure use data more effectively to improve academic achievement. A copy of the agenda can be found online. U.S. attendees will be joined by colleagues from Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Strive Managing Director Jeff Edmondson will speak at the opening session of the event at 8 a.m., Thursday, September 27, and will be joined by Milwaukee County District Attorney, John Chisholm, who will make opening remarks. Other speakers include Paul Schmitz, CEO of Public Allies, who will address attendees at a 5:30 p.m. reception Thursday;
State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher; Patrick McCarthy, CEO of Annie E. Casey Foundation; Deborah Delisle, Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Education; Mike Lovell, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; and Stacey Stewart, executive vice president of United Way Worldwide.
The entire event is open to the press, and @strivenetwork will be micro blogging. Follow the convening under the Twitter hash tag, #StriveC2C.
In 2011, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation created Milwaukee Succeeds, which united the community around a set of strategies to achieve a shared vision of success for every child, in every school, cradle to career – alongside the work of traditional education agencies. As part of the Strive network of cradle to career communities, Milwaukee has become one of 70 locations across the United States that is actively engaged in this work.
“We are honored to have the annual Strive convening in Milwaukee this year, because it is a reflection of our long-term commitment to make a difference in the lives of kids,” said Ellen M. Gilligan, president and CEO, Greater Milwaukee Foundation. “Milwaukee Succeeds represents something really positive because its existence marks the first time where all stakeholders — public and charter advocates — are coming together in the name of the best interest of our children.”
The convening includes sessions based on the four pillars of the Cradle to Career framework, a proven process to share expertise, identify and adapt programs that work, and develop effective tools and resources that can help resolve specific challenges. That framework includes a shared community vision, evidence-based decision making, collaborative action, and investment and sustainability.
Edmondson said he hopes the convening’s theme will resonate with attendees and help them think about the use of data differently.
“Historically in the social sector we use data to pick winners and losers, the programs or systems that are good or bad. Communities building cradle to career partnerships are on the cutting edge when it comes to ensuring we use data as a critical tool to better serve children,” Edmondson said. “This convening will help them share lessons and capture best practices.”
Chancellor Zimpher, who formerly served as chancellor at UWM, praised Milwaukee’s progress and pointed out the importance of collaborative action.
“We do not yet have a system of public education in this country, but thanks to regions like Milwaukee, where leaders in education, business, and community are collaborating to put local systems in place, we are making progress,” Zimpher said. “By uniting local leaders in a commitment to educate more students, educate them better, and educate them together, Milwaukee serves as a model for the nation.”