While there’s no shortage of education programs and effort, there’s a shortage of a return. We think that’s because more than a resource problem, Hartford has a coordination and ownership problem.
While conditions in the public sector are tough, Hartford’s diverse private sector maintains an incredible asset – smart and committed leaders from corporate, nonprofit, higher ed, and philanthropy, waiting to be tapped. Unlocking our potential, as a private sector, is the real opportunity.
Embracing a model of “distributed leadership,” Achieve Hartford can stay small as a staff yet enlist and support a large number of private leaders to help drive projects.
Theory of Change
If we – AH staff, board members, and partners – activate the region’s many corporate, nonprofit, philanthropic and higher ed leaders to take shared ownership of solving Hartford’s education problems, and if we support high-functioning teams and high-impact interventions, over time we can achieve equity in opportunity and close the achievement gap – in the process building a large base of committed, cross-sector leaders.
During the year of our transition, we activated over 30 private sector leaders to drive our two coalitions. By the end of fiscal year 2019, we will bring on an additional 71 private sector leaders from throughout corporate, higher ed, nonprofit and philanthropy and in the process put 600 students on track for college and career readiness.
When I volunteered to serve on the Weaver School Culture and Climate workgroup, I didn’t have any special expertise to bring to the table, but I did have a well-trained ability to elicit strong participation among a diverse group of leaders – and a passion to improve Hartford. I know my contribution helped us deliver a great product at the end of the design phase, and I can’t wait to help drive the next phase of the work. The bright stars growing up in Hartford’s North End deserve something truly special when they enter 9th Grade next summer.