Looking back at 2018 fills me with awe and gratitude—what an amazing year of progress this has been!
From January’s start of the legislative season to December’s National Summit on Education Reform, our collaborative work during the past 12 months gave 1.86 million additional students access to improved educational resources, better-fitting schools, innovations in learning and 21st-century career pathways. On their behalf, thank you!
With our more than 400 in-state partners, ExcelinEd actively supported 45 states this year—plus Puerto Rico and Washington, DC—in transforming education through student-centered policies. College and career pathways, particularly workforce education, drew the strongest interest across many states as well as ever-growing bipartisan support. Early literacy was not far behind.
A number of state-based wins in 2018 really stand out:
- Georgia increased funding for state-approved public charter schools by more than $40 million, while expanding its tax-credit scholarships by $42 million.
- Florida was an innovator with hope scholarships, a first-of-its-kind school choice program for victims of bullying, as well as in creating reading scholarships specifically for struggling readers.
- Nebraska adopted the nation’s most comprehensive reading policy of the year.
- Missouri approved a comprehensive course access policy, the broadest such legislation of any state.
- And more than two-thirds of states looked to improve computer science education, with nearly 20 of them—including Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina and Pennsylvania—enacting new computer science policies this year.
Making an Impact
If those highlights aren’t inspiring enough, listen to the words of our speakers that lifted up more than a 1,000 policymakers just a few weeks ago at the 2018 National Summit on Education Reform. The energy, partnerships and strategies were empowering indeed, and I hope you’ll plan to join us in San Diego in 2019!
Looking back on 2018, does one year’s effort make an impact? Quite simply, yes. And it’s significantly greater when you look back across the past three years. Since 2016, our collaboration has led to 5.4 million students now benefitting from student-centered policies.
This unwavering momentum fills me with hope for the year ahead, because I know the numbers represent real changes in the lives of students and their families. I’m grateful for every partner in education reform, every parent advocating for their child and every policymaker working for change. You all have played a part in bettering children’s lives.
Together we are making a difference in education systems across the nation. I thank you, and I challenge you to never give up until each and every child gets the quality education they deserve.
About the author
Patricia Levesque @levesquepat
Patricia is the Chief Executive Officer for the Foundation for Excellence in Education. She served as Governor Jeb Bush’s deputy chief of staff for education, enterprise solutions for government, minority procurement, and business and professional regulation. Previously, Patricia served six years in the Florida Legislature in the Speakers Office and as staff director over education policy. Contact Patricia at PatriciaLevesque@excelined.org