America Succeeds Updates

America Succeeds Updates: January 2020

Getting More Agile in the New Year

As we move into the new year and decade, we’re excited to continue exploring how agility can shape our work and engage our increasingly diverse coalition of partners.

One of those efforts is the Agility Alliance, an initiative composed of leaders from business, education, government, and advocacy who are striving to ensure learners are equipped to pursue their dreams and jobs.

Together, with more than 40 partners, we are on a mission to embed agility as a core tenant of state education systems and expand pathways from K-12 to high-quality postsecondary opportunities. 

Add your name to the list of supporters here.

America Succeeds in the News

We rang in the new year with a quote in Jabez LeBret‘s recent Forbes article, “Four Bold Predictions in K12 Education for the Next Decade.” Let us know which prediction resonates the most with you by tweeting us @AmericaSucceeds.

Read the article here.

Affiliate Updates

Idaho Business for Education

Earlier this month, Idaho Business for Education hosted its 8th annual Legislative Academy. Keynote speaker Jaime Casap, the global education evangelist for Google, delivered his presentation, “The problem-solving generation,” to state elected officials, IBE members, and education stakeholders. Casap said we should not be asking students, “What do you want to do when you are an adult?” We should be asking them, “What problem do you want to solve?” and then ask them how they want to solve it. You can read more about Casap’s presentation in this featured news article.

In other Idaho news, funding for K-3 literacy, building out a teacher career ladder, addressing social-emotional issues, and workforce development are a few issues that IBE will be following throughout this year’s legislative session.

Lastly, IBE is hiring for two positions! Check out the Vice President of Community and School Partnerships and Communications Director roles. 


Right before the holidays, Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Senior Services Administration for Children and Families awarded the Show-Me State $33.5M in a preschool development grant for birth through 5. This renewal grant will allow Missouri to continue the work started in early 2019 when the state received the initial $6.5M in federal funding.

This year, Aligned will be focusing their efforts in both Kansas and Missouri on workforce development and early childhood education legislation, including support for academic acceleration access, teacher certification to teach dual-credit courses, expansion of visiting scholars programs, Quality Assurance Report planning and implementation, increased funding for home visitation, and more. We’re excited to see and hear how Aligned’s packed legislative agenda goes.

Arkansas Learns

Thanks to a group of parents leading the charge, the Lafayette County School Board recently voted 6-0 to no longer exempt from the State’s law on inter-district school choice. Resident and receiving districts may begin receiving #SchoolChoice applications January 1st (first-applied, first-served), with a May 1st deadline. Most importantly, the Lafayette County School District may finally compete with its surrounding districts, which will attract and retain families to and in its district.

Throughout the year, Arkansas Learns will be prioritizing work to ensure inter-district School Choice is available to all Arkansas students and families, regardless of residence; they will also be working to identify, recruit, and elect (or re-elect) student-focused members of local school boards.


Each year, BEST NC publishes Facts & Figures, which presents over 150 charts and infographics about education in North Carolina, covering a student’s trajectory from cradle to career, and is distributed among all North Carolina legislators. The BEST NC team updates this guide annually with new and updated data as part of their commitment to inform policy and to serve as a resource for the education community in North Carolina and beyond. The 2020 edition will be out soon, but in the meantime, check out their 2019 version here

In 2020, BEST NC is working to secure recurring funding to support TeachNC, North Carolina’s statewide teacher recruitment campaign and one-stop resource for teacher candidates, as well as expanding and making permanent North Carolina’s Advanced Teaching Roles Pilot Program, which implements new organizational models that give teachers leadership opportunities and ongoing embedded professional development.

Colorado Succeeds

In 2019, Colorado Succeeds supported early adopters in their implementation efforts of the Homegrown Talent Initiative, where families, schools, businesses, and higher education come together to support students in finding their passions, engaging with their community, and developing new skills and competencies, all while simultaneously attaining the credentials necessary to qualify for a wide range of post-secondary pathways.

This year, Colorado Succeeds is prioritizing the College Credit for Work Experience Bill – sponsored by Representative Barbara McLachlan and Senator Rachel Zenzinger. This bill seeks to validate work-based learning experiences with college credit, create more value for students through stackable credits and credentials, increase access to higher education, reduce costs, and improve completion rates.

Oklahoma Achieves

Over the holidays, Oklahoma Achieves‘ Ryan Walters wrote about transparency in public education via “Why School Report Cards Matter.” This year, 46 percent of Oklahoma students didn’t meet a single ACT benchmark. In addition, 33 percent of schools saw a decrease of a letter grade on their school report card this year. In the article, Walters declares, “…transparency is tantamount to improving the quality of Oklahoma’s education system and the academic future of our students.” 

This year, Oklahoma Achieves will be working on advanced roles for educators and expanding course access equity in this session.

Read the article here

Affiliate Member Feature

We’re excited to support a growing army of business leaders across the country helping move the needle on student outcomes. Throughout the year, we’ll be highlighting their voices in our monthly newsletter and across our social channels. #PowerofaNetwork

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America Succeeds Updates: December 2019
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Highlights from our 2019 Annual Report