“New grant boosts parent involvement, student literacy in three Kent schools.”- November 30, 2016 - The Seattle Times

“CEOs join effort to help students learn about careers.”- October 11, 2016 – The Seattle Times

“Conversations with Experienced Backbone Leaders: Road Map Project.”- July 19, 2016 – Collective Impact Forum

The Roadmap Project - drive dramatic improvement in student achievement from cradle to college and career

Background: The Road Map Project is a community-wide effort aimed at improving education to drive dramatic improvement in student achievement from cradle to college and career in South King County and South Seattle. Race and poverty should not determine a child’s educational success, which was often the case in South Seattle and South King County. Opportunity gaps were glaring and, in some cases growing. The Project team wanted the region’s children to have access to the high-paying jobs their knowledge-intensive economy provided. Working together as a region to increase student achievement from cradle through college and career was critical.

The Road Map Project goal - to double the number of students in South King County and South Seattle who are on track to graduate from college or earn a career credential by 2020. They were committed to nothing less than closing the unacceptable opportunity and achievement gaps for low-income students and children of color, and increasing achievement for all students from cradle to college and career.

Solution: The Project team came up with four big, interrelated areas of work which if done well would propel the region to the 2020 goal. They believed regional collaboration would be powerful in delivering results for kids:

Alignment — Building strong strategic and operational alignment among those whose work can influence the goal. When many sectors of the community—education systems, funders, youth development organizations, libraries, health and housing agencies, and more—align their work to improve Indicators of Student Success, the additive impact will be unstoppable.

Parent & Community Engagement — Engaging and supporting parents in their role as their child’s first teacher, and strengthening the advocacy voice of parents and communities. Research points to the importance of the parent both as teacher and system navigator, and emphasizes the need for strong partnerships among parents, schools and community. The Road Map Project encourages and supports strong community advocacy for excellence and equity for all students.

Power of Data — Providing data to fuel continuous improvement and community advocacy. It is not enough just to have data—the power comes from using it to improve practice and policy. Building the region’s capacity to use data will strengthen and help improve results from cradle to college and career.

Stronger Systems — Building stronger systems across the whole cradle-to-college continuum. Often we see great work happening but the scale remains small. Systems must be built to help spread effective practices. In some cases, new collaborative infrastructure is required to handle a task that falls outside the responsibility of any one particular entity

Impact: The goal 2020- 67% of African American high school graduates would persisted in college. On an average in 7 districts this was tracking at 50% in 2013.

Key partners: Seven school districts (Auburn, Federal Way, Highline, Kent, Renton, Tukwila, and the South Seattle schools from Seattle Public Schools), plus local colleges, mayors, private funders, CBOs, early learning providers, and non-education government agencies.

More information: http://www.roadmapproject.org