Pathways to Success: Providing More Children Access to Great Public Schools

Publication date: 
June, 2017
Education Cities

Pathways to Success: Providing More Children Access to Great Public Schools

Over the past several years, Education Cities has helped leaders in nearly a dozen cities develop “High-Quality Seats” (HQS) plans – a written set of strategies and tactics designed to accelerate the growth and improvement of great public schools. If fully realized, these plans hold the potential to help more than 200,000 children in low-income communities attend better public schools every year, in perpetuity – while leveraging one-time investments totaling $600 million in local and national philanthropy to impact approximately $2 billion in public dollars annually. 

These HQS plans are developed for local education “quarterback” organizations (like the members of the Education Cities network), which coordinate investment in the activities required to ensure the plan’s success. Quarterback organizations sit outside the
system, raise significant local and national philanthropy, and play a vital civic leadership role advancing activities in service of a “quality schools” agenda. We think quarterbacks are strongest when they use a non-profit, venture philanthropy model and develop and execute against a HQS plan as their key strategic framework.

The most effective quarterback organizations marry visionary leadership and strategic clarity.

HQS plans are anchored in a time-bound goal for how many new or improved school seats the plan – through quarterback and local coalition leadership – will seek to achieve. These goals are usually set after having undertaken an extensive ecosystem analysis of the city and it’s various school operators. However, a HQS plan is not just about investments in schools; we believe that there are many interdependencies in the effort to support quality school growth.

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