Like any large city, Cincinnati faces
challenges in educating youth living in poverty. When it was reported that the
number of Ohio and Kentucky students attending college lagged far behind that
in other states, organizers at the KnowledgeWorks Foundation and the University
of Cincinnati decided to increase Ohio and Kentucky’s post-secondary enrollment
numbers. This brief by Education Sector describes that effort – namely the
process of establishing and sustaining the Strive
Partnership of Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky.
group’s “cradle-to-career” approach coordinates every service and form of support
that children and adolescents need, at every stage of their education and
development. The five-year-old
organization partners with over 300 civic groups, colleges, public agencies,
nonprofits and businesses, and holds each partner accountable for its piece of
the puzzle. Strive is frequently cited
as a model of how shared accountability can work.
“Student Roadmap to Success” was developed after community discussions favored
focusing on a student’s entire academic career rather than a single point of
1. Increase kindergarten readiness
2. Support students inside and
outside of school
3. Provide academic help
4. Encourage students to graduate
and enroll in college
Complete college well prepared to enter the workforce and succeed
five goals are then broken into benchmark indicators which are then divided
among the partners. Each provider is
accountable for agreed upon indicators that are used in the annual “Striving
Together” report card. That report is
used to tailor interventions and program changes based upon new data gathered.
has also partnered with Microsoft Corporation to develop software that would
create a student profile from the data gathered, and follow the student from
school to school. Once the software is
available, relevant information would be available to the providers involved in
the child’s life.
This report attributes Strive’s greatest
success to the student learning centers in the lowest-performing and elementary
school campuses that serve the neediest students. The learning centers connect
students, their families, and neighborhood residents to health, educational,
and cultural programs.
Strive Partnership is already helping seven other communities replicate its
model and has plans to create at least 25 “Cradle-to-Career Communities” by
2015. Communities in 28 states are
interested in it as well.
Kelly Bathgate, Richard Lee Colvin, and Elena Silva