We have not yet begun our forums on Too Many Children Left Behind: Closing the Achievement Gaps in Central Texas, but we already have some success stories to report.
Here is a report filed by Susan Dawson, E3 Alliance.
Each community started off with a Too Many Children Left Behind launch team of (at least) a district superintendent, a higher ed leader, a local politician, and a business leader. This launch team was asked to own and commit to helping with the final plans coming out of the dialogues, help find resources needed to hold the dialogues, and to identify a diverse group of 8-10 “grass tops” Community Champions to roll up their sleeves and plan/manage the dialogues process in their local communities. The San Marcos Launch Team broke down their community into different groups and identified over 60 people that they wanted to be on the Community Champions team! Then that Champions team, the first time they met, were excited about immediately launching into discussing the implications of achievement gaps on their community, and had to pull themselves back into planning mode.
In one community, some of the Champion team wanted to be moderators, but they also wanted to be able to participate actively in the dialogues about their schools. In the end, they decided to volunteer to moderate in another community so they could do both!
One person at the first moderator training session was an AP student and the head of student government at her local high school. After participating in training, she was so excited about engaging students of different backgrounds that she took the discussion guide back to her school and immediately started to launch her own Too Many Children Left Behind dialogues with students at her school.
We sent an invitation to attend one of the Too Many Children Left Behind community dialogues to all the superintendents from across the region. One superintendent volunteered to be a moderator at another community’s dialogues!