Coalition work is difficult and takes time, so why do it – especially when we have such limited staff capacity and budget? It’s a very good question. As we continue to expand our direct-service work to fill gaps in student supports identified by the ALL IN! Coalition – particularly those gaps during senior summer and the first year of college – we are reminded of one truth:
- Despite the countless private-sector programs supporting students in Hartford, the high school graduation, post-secondary enrollment and degree completion rates overall remain frozen.
So, it can’t be just about more resources; it has to be about resource coordination and better resource targeting. It has to be about the entire system changing how it takes care of students to allow for more and more to choose and stay on a path that works for them. That’s why the Coalition matters, and that’s why we remain committed to playing the role of Backbone to that Coalition.
Identifying gaps and launching innovative new programs is one play. Another play is being a force for coordination and alignment, collaborative funding, practice improvement, resource sharing, data tracking, cross-sector collaboration and smarter targeting of resources for results. That’s the role of the Coalition, and we will continue to find ways to make systems change this coming school year – as we have in the past, where we have brought organizations together to tackle summer melt, campus retention and work-based learning. Take a look below to see what’s on the horizon and what you can do to plug in if you haven’t already.