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Louisville chosen for Harvard education redesign initiative

One of six cities selected

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Feb. 23, 2016) — Louisville was one of six cities chosen by the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) for a new multi-year initiative called By All Means: Redesigning Education to Restore Opportunity. The initiative aims to develop comprehensive child wellbeing and education systems that help eliminate the link between children’s socioeconomic status and achievement.

harvard“This partnership with Harvard’s By All Means initiative is a huge boost to our Cradle to Career program, which is based on two notions: That a successful community is a community of lifelong learners, and that we must work to remove the barriers that keep too many of our citizens from success,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “We are grateful for this opportunity, which we will use to ensure that Cradle to Career activities are tightly linked to the health, social and emotional wrap-around services and interventions needed to support our children and their families.”

The program also will be operated in Oakland, Calif., Providence, R.I., Salem, Mass., Somerville, Mass. and Newton, Mass.

“While our recent efforts at education reform have yielded some great successes in certain places, overall, we have failed to achieve equity, we have failed to eliminate persistent achievement and success gaps,” said Paul Reville, founding director of the Education Redesign Lab and former Massachusetts Secretary of Education. “Schools alone, as currently conceived, can’t do the job of educating all children for success. We can do better. By All Means will help light the way.”

Cities chosen to be part of the By All Means consortium demonstrate a distinguished record and a broad conception of their roles in ensuring children’s success. Working with the Education Redesign Lab, mayors of each city will create and lead “Children’s Cabinets” composed of superintendents, heads of health and social services, recreation, cultural and arts activists, and other key community leaders. Working together, these cabinet members will brainstorm and design new, effective strategies—aimed at closing persistent achievement and opportunity gaps—for meeting all children’s needs in their communities.

“The By All Means initiative helps support the Vision 2020 strategic plan recently adopted by the JCPS District and our board of education,” said Jefferson County Public Schools superintendent Donna Hargens. “This guiding principle of our plan is Excellence with Equity, which means ensuring that all of our students graduate prepared, empowered and inspired to reach their full potential. We know that in order for some of our students to reach their full potential, we must remove barriers to learning. This partnership allows us to help support our students, build a foundation for educational success and graduate students who will contribute richly to the fabric of this community.”

Throughout the course of this multiyear initiative, a series of high-profile national meetings will connect entrepreneurial and committed city mayors, superintendents, and public officials directly with the expertise of Harvard faculty, design leaders, and influential policy, research and practice leaders in the movement to re-conceptualize 21st century education. The meetings will invigorate a national public dialogue about how to take the most promising school and community innovations to scale, and address potential challenges that arise.

Launched in 2015, HGSE’s Education Redesign Lab’s mission is to design an integrated, comprehensive set of systems for education and child development that will ensure all students, especially economically disadvantaged, have a fair chance of mastering the skills and knowledge necessary for success. To achieve this, the Education Redesign Lab engages in research, field work, convening, and advocacy, and a national design process to support the development of this vision.