[This was posted from the Kettering Foundation meeting on September 20-21, 2007 with 12 sites working on the project, “Too Many Children Left Behind”. For more information about the project visit the Project Home Page.]
San Francisco and Central Texas
San Francisco: New partners in this effort, coming together to partner bringing together their skill sets. Looking at small schools for equity design.
Central Texas: Partnership with E3 Alliance and the school superintendent convening forums in six communities in Central Texas in partnership with E3, Austin Voices and Texas Forums.
Minneapolis and Illinois
Minneapolis: Cutting across the various sectors in the community to address education and bring life to connecting learning in the classroom to what happens in real life. Put young people in jobs with real businesses where they can apply skills and learn from people on the job. Helping students recognize that they need to have a life plan so that kids know that education is important. Strong skills: how to mobilize the business community.
Illinois: One partner has worked on truancy issues in Nigeria where kids can leave school and earn more or get married early. These are key issues in this country – kids having a short term perspective being lured into money-making endeavors, and teen pregnancy. The other partner has strong community organizing skills with is a common skill between the two sites. In the community of Boling Brook, the community is growing rapidly and is very diverse, but does not have the divided pockets where racial groups clustered. Even local politics is fairly tame. But reaching across organizations has not been done.
Corpus Christi, Helena, AR and Cincinnati
Helena, AR: working at a very grassroots level on the issue of poverty which is interesting because often conversations around AG focus on whether it is an issue of race or poverty and we know that it is both.
Corpus Christi: Represented by an LEF program working with all grades. A smaller organization started in response to the high number of drop-out students. Focus on grassroots inclusion. Organization has been around since 2003.
Cincinnati: KnowledgeWorks Foundation has researched and studied where education is going, the impact of technology. The community is involved in a project called, Stride that is looking at community engagement and involving people in conversations about education with the hope to institionalize engagement. Over-the-Rhine is the community that was featured in Traffic. Work with Community Learning Centers. UC CAT is working to support students at the university in Cincinnati to help.
D.C. and Panama City
(This group created their own introduction system which led to jokes about their not following directions. It was a fun and light moment.)
Panama City: One person is representing her own interest as a parent and her organization, working with youth to understand, using a participatory action research model. Another member of the team is a high school teacher with interest in communication – reading, writing, consulting, community organizer. Worked for one year on a community organizing project which requires patience and listening.
D.C.: Being the parent of a two-year old child is motivating. Applying legal background and political interest as Director of DC Voice. Another participant is an advocate responsible for research, learning for the Public Education Network. As the oldest of seven children, she said she has never had patience and doesn’t believe in democracy…(laughter!)
This form of introduction got people up out of their chair after lunch, the hardest time to keep people engaged especially after a wonderful pasta lunch! It also surfaced the knowledge and expertise in the room which will give the facilitators the opportunity to get out of the way and let the wisdom of the group emerge.
New Orleans and Bridgeport, CT participants were not in this session of our meeting.