Portland ConnectED brings together a unique, cross-sector partnership of organizational leaders committed to building a citywide cradle-to-career infrastructure and culture to support high quality education—for Portland’s youth, for Portland families, and for the Portland community at large.
Together, they are working like never before to coordinate efforts, align resources, and harness local, regional, and national expertise to prepare our citizens to meet the challenges of the future.
Cross-Sector Partnership Sets Out Shared Goals, Strategies, and Benchmarks to Support Success in School Readiness, Grade-Level Reading, High School Graduation, and Post-Secondary Completion
PORTLAND, Maine -- The founding partners of Portland ConnectED, including Mayor Michael F. Brennan, Superintendent Emmanuel Caulk, and executives from education, civic, business, and philanthropic sectors, will introduce their Baseline Report tomorrow, which sets forth the initiative’s goals and strategies to ensure healthy childhood experiences and ever-increasing educational outcomes for all of Portland’s children, youth, and families, from cradle-to career, college and citizenship.
“This significant report will help guide the work and increase the effectiveness of the many partners who have already joined the effort—and the many more we hope will join us—to ensure every child a pathway to success in Portland,” declared Mayor Brennan. “The Baseline Report captures the shared understandings, objectives, and strategies that have emerged after extensive research and data-driven discussions with citywide stakeholders all along the cradle-to-career spectrum. And it lays out timebound benchmarks that are ambitious, but also actionable and, with the support of organizations, businesses, families, and everyday people throughout our community, achievable.”
A little over a year ago, the founding partners of Portland ConnectED—including Creative Portland, the Sam L. Cohen Foundation, the John T. Gorman Foundation, The Opportunity Alliance, Portland Public Library, Portland Public Schools, Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce, Southern Maine Community College, United Way of Greater Portland and the University of Southern Maine—came together committed to the proposition that to ensure Portland’s sustained growth, we must all work together like never before to support our schools, children, and families.
In its first year, Portland ConnectED has already been able to establish collaborative working groups committed to increasing school readiness, third grade reading proficiency, high school graduation, and post-secondary completion. Early on, the group reached out to forge partnerships with state, regional, and national organizations like the Strive Together network, which have proven essential in driving learning and progress. To begin addressing the summer slide that leaves too many kids too far behind come September each school year, Portland ConnectED blended active summer enrichment with summer food service and a citywide communications campaign to engage students in the Portland Pledge for Summer Success. Last fall, Portland hosted the first-ever New England Regional Grade-Level Reading Conference and recently became the first city in Northern New England to join the nationwide Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. And in December, the group was able to help Casco Bay High School seniors celebrate post-secondary aspirations with Portland’s first celebratory “March to the Post Office.”
Over the next three years, Portland ConnectED will connect the dots between critical milestones to support 120 more third graders to reading proficiency, 60 more high school students to graduation, and 40 more post-secondary students to completion of a credential by 2017 to help put all Portland children on a pathway to success in career and citizenship.