Last week, CCER had the pleasure of co-hosting a Business-Education Collaborative Summit in Boston with America’s Promise Alliance.  America’s Promise is the nation’s largest partnership dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth, partnering with more than 400 national organizations representing nonprofits, businesses, communities, educators and policymakers.

The Business Education Summit was an opportunity for business and education leaders to come together as thought partners and highlight case studies and best practices for the purpose of improving public education. The summit kicked off with a panel discussion of organizational leaders who discussed best practices and lessons learned from successful business-education partnerships. They highlighted the importance of having autonomous organizations translate education reform strategies and school performance data in terms that make sense to business leaders.  By having a better understanding of the current education landscape, businesses can make informed decisions and more effectively focus available resources.

Kati Haycock, President of The Education Trust, gave a rousing keynote address that underscored a commonly recurring theme throughout the two-day event: namely, that reforming the public school system is both a moral and economic imperative. She reminded participants of the importance of investing resources in ways that ensure every school is staffed with effective teachers and focused leaders who will have high expectations of their students. The summit provided many learning opportunities–from a workshop lead by Dr. Paul Herdman, President of the Rodel Foundation of Delaware, on the role an independent organization can play in focusing diverse stakeholders on a few prioritized initiatives, to a conversation with Steve Simmons, CCER’s Board Chairman, who discussed CCER’s role in amplifying the business voice to create changes in policy necessary for improving student achievement.

Out of a growing recognition nationwide that the business community plays an important role in supporting excellence in our public school systems, organizations such as the Massachusetts Business Alliance, Colorado Succeeds, the Rodel Foundation, and the CT Council for Education Reform have committed themselves to building and strengthening these partnerships.  If you would like to learn more about how your business might become engaged in supporting education reform in Connecticut, please contact us at info@ctedreform.org and visit our website at www.ctedreform.org.