StriveTogether: Proof of the Power of Results Count

Posted January 9, 2019
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
StriveTogether leaders work on strategies that improve the well-being of their community's children.

Sup­port­ing a nation­al net­work of 70 com­mu­ni­ty-based part­ner­ships, Striv­e­To­geth­er has been a pio­neer in coach­ing teams of lead­ers across com­mu­ni­ties to close gaps and improve well-being using the Casey Foundation’s unique lead­er­ship devel­op­ment method­ol­o­gy, Results Count™. The Striv­e­To­geth­er Cra­dle to Career Net­work is one of sev­en nation­al orga­ni­za­tions receiv­ing Foun­da­tion sup­port to use the Results Count approach to increase the num­ber of social-sec­tor pro­fes­sion­als equipped to make mea­sur­able, last­ing improve­ments in the lives of chil­dren and families.

Read more about Results Count at StriveTogether

Striv­e­To­geth­er has suc­cess­ful­ly used Results Count tools inter­nal­ly and with its com­mu­ni­ty part­ners to improve aca­d­e­m­ic achieve­ment,” says Jen­nifer Gross, a senior asso­ciate at Casey. The Network’s impres­sive accom­plish­ments show the poten­tial of our Results Count hub strat­e­gy, which seeks to expand the num­ber of social-sec­tor lead­ers who can move from talk to action and achieve equi­table results.”

Oper­at­ing in 30 states and the Dis­trict of Colum­bia, Striv­e­To­geth­er brings com­mu­ni­ties togeth­er to make deci­sions and improve results for children’s lives from cra­dle to career. Com­mit­ted to a rig­or­ous, data-dri­ven approach, Striv­e­To­geth­er coach­es teams of lead­ers to iden­ti­fy what works and get bet­ter, more equi­table out­comes for chil­dren of col­or and in low-income fam­i­lies. Striv­e­To­geth­er also con­nects part­ners from across the coun­ty with resources and each oth­er to learn faster togeth­er. This exper­tise and tech­ni­cal assis­tance have con­tributed to mea­sur­able improve­ments in areas such as kinder­garten readi­ness, ear­ly grade read­ing and post­sec­ondary success.

Striv­e­To­geth­er was first intro­duced to Casey’s lead­er­ship devel­op­ment approach in 2010, when then-Man­ag­ing Direc­tor Jeff Edmond­son par­tic­i­pat­ed in the Foundation’s Chil­dren and Fam­i­ly Fel­low­ship. Since then, the Foun­da­tion has sup­port­ed build­ing the capac­i­ty of nation­al staff and teams of local lead­ers in part­ner com­mu­ni­ties to apply the Results Count approach to their work. Casey also has invest­ed in StriveTogether’s Cra­dle to Career Accel­er­a­tor Fund, a three-year pro­gram for teams of local part­ners to com­bine tech­ni­cal and finan­cial assis­tance with inten­sive lead­er­ship train­ing based on Results Count.

The goal of the Accel­er­a­tor Fund is to help local part­ner­ships reach proof point,” a mea­sure of progress along StriveTogether’s guid­ing frame­work when com­mu­ni­ties are demon­stra­bly chang­ing the sys­tems that affect chil­dren and improv­ing or main­tain­ing a major­i­ty of cra­dle-to-career out­comes over time. To date, all six part­ner­ships in the first group of Accel­er­a­tor Fund com­mu­ni­ties have been rec­og­nized as proof points:

Shel­by County’s Seed­ing Suc­cess part­ner­ship is the most recent of the six to achieve the proof point des­ig­na­tion. The part­ner­ship has demon­strat­ed a strong com­mit­ment to Results Count tools and tech­niques such as build­ing the capa­bil­i­ties of part­ners, sup­port­ing a cul­ture of shared account­abil­i­ty and using data in deci­sion mak­ing to make last­ing, mea­sur­able edu­ca­tion­al improve­ments in the county.

For instance, Seed­ing Suc­cess iden­ti­fied oppor­tu­ni­ties to build effec­tive data use at five orga­ni­za­tions that sup­port youth from kinder­garten to high school grad­u­a­tion. As a result, one orga­ni­za­tion updat­ed its process to ensure that teach­ers have stu­dent-lev­el aca­d­e­m­ic data 15 days after assess­ments. This update allowed teach­ers to react more quick­ly to test results and bet­ter sup­port stu­dents in reach­ing their goals. Through inten­tion­al use of data for deci­sion mak­ing, the orga­ni­za­tion increased the per­cent­age of stu­dents ready for kinder­garten from 33% to 82% over three and a half years. The use of real-time data has become fun­da­men­tal to its prac­tices and embed­ded in its strate­gic plan.

In anoth­er exam­ple, a Seed­ing Suc­cess part­ner orga­ni­za­tion rec­og­nized that reg­u­lar atten­dance was crit­i­cal for stu­dents to avoid los­ing skills over the sum­mer. The orga­ni­za­tion accessed the Seed­ing Suc­cess data­base of stu­dent-lev­el data to iden­ti­fy how to cus­tomize sup­port ser­vices. These tar­get­ed ser­vices led to stu­dent suc­cess across the board, includ­ing one stu­dent who improved two read­ing lev­els over a sev­en-week peri­od. The part­ners in Shel­by Coun­ty are using stu­dent-lev­el and pro­gram­mat­ic data to mea­sure their strate­gic and orga­ni­za­tion­al suc­cess, expand their efforts and share prac­tices with oth­er orga­ni­za­tions to improve out­comes across the community.

We are excit­ed to take our part­ner­ship with the Casey Foun­da­tion to the next lev­el as a Results Count hub,” said Striv­e­To­geth­er pres­i­dent and CEO Jen­nifer Blatz. With the recog­ni­tion and addi­tion­al sup­port for our work, we are bet­ter able to equip local lead­ers with the prac­ti­cal skills and action-ori­ent­ed process they need to get more equi­table out­comes for chil­dren and fam­i­lies across our 70 communities.”

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