One of the newest books released by the State University of New York Press is Striving Together: Early Lessons in Achieving Collective Impact in Education.
Striving Together is co-authored by Jeff Edmondson and Nancy Zimpher.
- Jeff is Managing Director of the KnowledgeWorks subsidiary StriveTogether and was the founding Director of the Strive Partnership (Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky).
- Nancy is Chancellor of the State University of New York and Chair of the StriveTogether National Advisory Board. Nancy was a key leader in the founding of the original Cincinnati-based partnership at the time she served as President of the University of Cincinnati.
A set of opening chapters chronicle the development of the Cincinnati Strive Partnership and the spin-off of StriveTogether as a replication vehicle.
Next come four case studies about cities that were “early adopters” and about the partnerships they created:
- Portland, Oregon (All Hands Raised);
- Richmond, Virginia (Bridging Richmond);
- Seattle/South King County, Washington (The Road Map Project); and
- Houston (All Kids Alliance).
To close the volume, Jeff and Nancy pull “Lessons Learned” from these case studies, along with experience from dozens of other newer StriveTogether partnerships across America.
The Houston story goes back to the days of the Greater Houston P-16+ Council, a predecessor organization that was formed on a model articulated in 2005 by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
In the Houston chapter in Striving Together, you’ll hear early voices from that period, especially the commentary of Laurie Bricker who was a member of the Coordinating Board at the time and played the lead role in initiating a Houston effort.
The unique role of All Kids Alliance as a “hub-and-spokes” intermediary is highlighted, with the advantages and challenges that come with this approach.
Each case study ends with a local tale or two called “Failing Forward” – capturing those times when things don’t go as planned and “lesson learned” can be painful if, in the end, propitious. One thing the authors teased out of our All Kids Alliance story is “start slow to go fast.”
We invite you to see what that adage says about “Failing Forward,” hoping you’ll enjoy reading Striving Together, Chapter 7 Houston: All Kids Alliance.