Well, this blog has languished while I wrapped up the “Too Many Children Left Behind” project – at least the first phase of it – and then the holidays were a much-needed distraction. But it’s time to get back on track. When you read the report on the achievement gap dialogues, I think you’ll understand why things have been quiet on this front. Here’s the summary with a link to the full report.
Too Many Children Left Behind Summary Report
In May-November of 2007, the E3 alliance, Texas Forums, and Austin Voices for Education and Youth held a series of deliberative dialogues on the impacts of education achievement gaps on communities throughout the Central Texas region. Over 600 people participated in an ongoing series of dialogues to examine the issue and the objective data on the gaps we see, analyze potential approaches for improving gaps, and develop action plans to create a better future for our children and our economy.
These dialogues, branded Too Many Children Left Behind: Closing the Education Gaps in Central Texas, were created to provide a mechanism for community change, a platform of understanding across communities for regional solutions, and a set of grass roots input from parents, students, teachers, and community members into the strategic planning process for systemic education reform in the region.
By the numbers:
➢ 6 communities
➢ ~120 moderators, each trained for 5 hours
➢ 35 planning and organizing meetings
➢ Over 600 total participants
➢ 17 dialogues sessions, ~3875 volunteer community participant hours
While there are many lessons learned, the overwhelming response from participants, moderators, leaders, and staff was that it was a huge success. We are confident that this process can and should be expanded to other communities in Central Texas as well as across the state and country.