America Succeeds Updates

America Succeeds Update: September 2021

Hey there,

September is one of the best months of the year here in Colorado! The kids are back in school, the leaves are changing in the mountains, and concert season is wrapping up at Red Rocks.

We’re also excited about pumpkin-flavored everything and sharing our first update of fall. 

America Succeeds

Educational Equity & The Economy

New Study Examine the Costs of Inequity

“How much larger would the U.S. economic pie be if opportunities and outcomes were more equally distributed by race and ethnicity?” That’s the central question of a new paper from the Brookings Institute, which makes a compelling case for increased attention from business on expanding and improving equity across society.

The paper with a sobering fact: “Longstanding racial and ethnic disparities in the United States have hurt not only the people who experience the disparities but have hurt all Americans by depressing U.S. economic output by trillions of dollars over the past 30 years.” 

The good news, of course, is that there are things we can do to change this reality, starting in education. As the paper notes, “ongoing differences in education do play a role in determining economic opportunities,” reinforcing why eliminating barriers to equity in education is one of our key initiatives at America Succeeds and should be a priority for all of our partners. While employment gaps are not eliminated entirely by educational attainment, they are narrowed.

To learn more about narrowing those gaps and how our economy stands to gain, check out the paper and then head over to our Equity in Education landing page to join our efforts!

Network Updates

Our state partners are hard at work, leading as business champions for students and educators. Check out a few highlights below:


The 2021 Colorado Succeeds Prize winners were announced last month, and we’ve enjoyed getting to learn more about some of Colorado’s most innovative and agile educators, schools, districts, and nonprofits. The Succeeds Prize is backed by some of Colorado’s leading companies and recognizes the best models in early childhood education, innovation, personalized learning, technology-enabled learning, experiential learning, and career exploration and pathways. If you’re looking for some inspiration, the Succeeds Prize will provide plenty!


report released this month from the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE) examined COVID-related MOUs between Commonwealth school districts and their teachers’ unions to see whether districts were leveraging flexibility and adaptive work rules to meet the challenges of teaching in a pandemic. Their findings? A missed opportunity. According to MBAE, the MOUs “focused mainly on maintaining as much normalcy in work rules as possible rather than anticipating or seeking to address the challenges remote and hybrid learning presented for students.” 

Read the report to learn more about the implications for instruction and learning and how strategies for helping students recover will likely require significant amendments to existing agreements.

What’d You Miss?

In case you missed it, Stephanie Short, our VP of Partnerships, was recently on the CAPS Network podcast to discuss Durable Skills and how we can equip our students with the skills they need for long-term success. Click here to listen.

We are thrilled to announce Walmart‘s support of our Durable Skills initiative! Being the #1 employer in the United States, it is exciting that Walmart and their corporate leaders believe in equipping kids with the skills they need for the future.

What’s Next?

Here are a few upcoming speaking engagements that will be highlighting our initiatives:
AdvanceCTE Keynote presentation – September 30th
How Soft Skills Prepare Students for Career Success & Future Resilience: a webinar with Summer Discovery – October 19th
Skills for Success in Learning, Work, and Life: How Durable Skills Transform A Student’s Experience: a strategy session at the 2021 National Summit on Education – November 18th-19th

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