Getting To Success Through Collaborative Action

Strategizing for educational improvement often becomes an exercise in shouting louder, selling a product, or shopping in a general clearinghouse of “best practices.” Strategizing to achieve collective impact using the StriveTogether Theory of Action resists all of these usual ways of seeking positive change. Instead, we introduce continuous quality improvement processes, and we put experienced cat herders in place to facilitate the work.

The time for such strategizing among our cradle-to-career regional partnerships comes when a partnership’s Leadership Council has laid out its goals and outcomes for students and has picked the one or two outcomes where it wants to do its initial work.

Targeting an outcome for action leads to setting up a Collaborative Action Network to do the deep study and generate locally suitable strategies for change.  A Collaborative Action Network is made up of experts and community members with a passion for the particular student outcome under the community microscope . . . like readiness for Kindergarten, early grades reading, middle grades math, etc.  

And in place to help make Collaborative Action Networks run in an orderly, engaged, and successful way are All Kids Alliance Facilitators.

Let us introduce you to two of our Collaborative Action Network Facilitators who are several months into this work.

Both of these facilitators are leading Collaborative Action Networks convened by the North Harris County Education Alliance.  One Network is aimed at increasing the number of children who enroll in Spring and Aldine ISD Kindergartens truly ready for school.  The second Network in North Harris County is charged with increasing the number of high school graduates who can do math with the proficiency required to enter work certificate programs and academic degrees.


Mary Jane Naquin, M.A., M.S.

Facilitator of the Collaborative Action Network: Ready for Kindergarten

Mary Jane Naquin began her facilitation work at the Texas Risk Communication Conference in 1991.  Bringing together people from various backgrounds with differing views and supporting their dialogue has become the heart of her work.  Participation, collaboration, and local involvement are key.  Mary Jane serves as the facilitator for seven Community Advisory Panels (CAPS) for the petrochemical industry along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coasts. In addition, she assists the Association of Professional Futurists, the Texas Chemical Council, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and East Harris County Manufacturers Association. 

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Wayne Dorris, Ph.D

Facilitator of the Collaborative Action Network: Proficiency in High School Math

Wayne is an Organization Effectiveness consultant who has worked in the energy sector since 1991.  He has provided leadership training and development for many global companies, in addition to teaching leadership at the University of Houston.  Wayne takes a systems perspective in his work with leaders and their organizations.  Having taught the '7 Habits of Highly Effective People,' he emphasizes the basic principles of effectiveness in his work with individuals and teams. He has been active in the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute for the last nine years.