Happy New Year! I hope this holiday season is bringing you and your family much joy and happiness.
As we close the door on a fruitful year and look ahead to 2020, I want you to know how grateful ExcelinEd is for all you have achieved for students in 2019 in states across the nation. Thanks to your partnership and support of our work, more than 600,000 children are newly benefitting from student-centered policies. Equally impressive, $600 million in new funding was added to states’ student-centered programs in early literacy, educational opportunity, computer science, and workforce and college acceleration.
These are inspiring numbers, yet they are far from what’s needed to reach every student with a transformative education. Parents everywhere know their children face real challenges in preparing for a successful future in a rapidly changing economy. They’re rightfully concerned that many of the skills needed in college and the workforce are not being taught in today’s classrooms.
ExcelinEd has policy solutions to change that. We are actively expanding our research that examines whether workforce credentials offered in states actually align with real-world jobs in those regions. We are exploring how more students can participate in college acceleration opportunities, and we are identifying solutions that address the skills gap in information technology and computer science.
At the same time, the fundamentals of a sound education—reading and math—remain an ExcelinEd focus. Data in the 2019 Nation’s Report Card show that K-12 academic achievement is mostly stagnant and that, with a few exceptions, notably Mississippi and some urban districts, student progress isn’t advancing well enough. I see that as a call to action to engage with states making progress…and to engage even deeper with states needing help with the strategic policies that impact achievement, namely accountability, early literacy, choice, teacher development and student-centered funding.
We know from decades of experience that policy has the power to change lives. I hope you agree and that you’ll join us in 2020 as we work to make a difference for students across the nation.
Here’s a step you can take today: Mark your new calendars for November 17-18. That’s when more than a thousand education leaders and advocates will convene in Washington, D.C., for our 13th annual National Summit on Education. Each year, these days together turn out to be the most strategic and valuable of the year, and they promise to be a great opportunity to showcase all we’ve accomplished together in 2020.
I can’t wait to get started.
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