January 2012 All Hands Raised Update from CEO, Dan Ryan

Posted on January 15, 2012 in CEO Updates

Dear Friends –

The start of the New Year has been busy and exciting for All Hands Raised as we engage in new conversations and navigate new territory to develop and launch the initial collaboratives (work-teams) to advance the priorities of Cradle to Career. As we move into this next stage, we should pause to celebrate the progress embodied in last week’s release of new graduation data – it sends a clear message that we are moving in the right direction, with the collective on-time graduation rate in our partner districts rising from 57% to 60% in the past year, including promising reductions in the gap between white students and students of color. And while we welcome this improvement, the data is also a reminder that we must continue bringing our collective A-game to the task at hand so that this momentum builds. None of us is satisfied with leaving 4 out of 10 students behind, or with the fact that race and income continue to predict our students’ success.

And so, we recommit to moving our shared agenda forward. With leadership from the Steering Committee, our recent work has focused on identifying and recruiting “convening partners”, or organizations that can successfully bring together a cross-section of community partners around a shared set of goals. To that end, three initial collaboratives were approved to begin their work and we remain engaged in dialogue with community partners regarding the development of additional collaboratives. Our initial collaboratives are:

  • Eliminating Disparities in Student Success, convened by the Coalition of Communities of Color;
  • Linking Community and Family Supports, convened by the SUN Service System Coordinating Council and PSU’s Center for the Improvement of Child and Family Services; and
  • Ready for Kindergarten, convened by Social Venture Partners Portland and the Multnomah County Commission on Children, Families & Community.

More detailed information, including contact information, for each collaborative is linked here for your review. If you have an interest in any of these collaboratives, I encourage you to reach out for more information.

Essential work of each collaborative will begin in the coming months, with a focus on designing and implementing a shared data-driven action plan.  All Hands Raised will provide continuous improvement coaching and facilitation to maximize engagement and efficiency, and ensure an ongoing focus on results.

The Data Team, which is co-convened by All Hands Raised and Portland State University, remains focused on developing a streamlined set of indicators (measurable data points that portray the current reality) and targets for improvement (goals established within a given time period for the change desired in a specific indicator), which will track the community’s overall progress in better supporting students.

With the establishment of initial collaboratives and the refinement of indicators, we are taking a significant step. Implementing this work requires a new way of bringing people together and a new conversation. Nicole Maher, Executive Director of the Native American Youth & Family Center put it best in a recent Portland Monthly article when she said, “We have designed services around what’s easiest for adults, not what’s best for children.” Those adults engaged in the Cradle to Career Partnership, myself included, are just beginning to change the way we behave and how we work to better serve our kids – the early signs of this shift are positive and our progress will continue to be meaningful because it is not “business as usual.”

As articulated in the Portland Monthly article, All Hands Raised continues to represent this work at the state and national levels, and our community continues to be an example for communities around the region and the country for what is possible when we commit to raising our hands for as long as it takes to help all kids achieve their full potential. Thank you for the role you play in this work.


Dan Ryan

Upcoming Dates:

February 29 17th Annual Portland Roast Festival (5:30 p.m., Rose Garden Arena)   April 17 Council Meeting (7:30 a.m., Northwest Evaluation Association, 121 NW Everett St. Portland, OR, 97209)