Earlier this year I shared a similar message with all of you on Simon Sinek’s challenge to leaders to not focus on what they do or how they do it, but rather on why they do what they do.
Looking back at this year and reflecting on all our coalition has accomplished, the importance of starting with “why” still rings true for me.
2017 was a landmark year for public education in Colorado, with many public policy changes and initiatives spurring the shifts our schools need and our students deserve for success in the innovation economy. Thanks to your commitment, investment, and engagement, our coalition championed:
As you will see in this recap of our year, the list above barely scratches the surface of all our coalition accomplished in support of Colorado’s kids.
Looking ahead to 2018, Colorado Succeeds will go deeper to drive even greater impact. We will support partners in implementing policy changes that we know drive success. We will further scale what is working and provide educators with the tools and funding needed to do so. And we will help inform voters and candidates throughout the gubernatorial race to ensure the next governor of Colorado prioritizes education, builds on the strong body of work already in place, and doesn’t shy away from the tough decisions that lead to real, systemic change. Gentle pressure, relentlessly applied.
Thank you for your continued investment and partnership in this important work. As a member of Colorado Succeeds, you continue to inspire me with your generosity and commitment to all of Colorado’s children.
I look forward to continuing our shared mission to provide every Colorado student with the education they deserve, and all Colorado businesses with the homegrown talent they need to thrive.
Colorado Succeeds members met with key education policymakers and leaders to provide business input on their efforts. This includes Sen. Owen Hill and Representative Brittany Petterson, Chairs of Colorado’s Senate and House Education Committees, as well Dr. Kim Hunter Reed of the Colorado Department of Higher Education and Dr. Katy Anthes of the Colorado Department of Education.
Colorado began the process of revising its academic standards this year. Academic standards guide student learning and identify what children should know and be able to do at each grade level. Colorado Succeeds members worked directly with the Colorado Department of Education to make sure the business community’s feedback is included and reflected in the updated standards.
We supported and trained more than 350 business leaders throughout the year, resulting in 60 business leaders taking an advocacy action to advance our priorities. Our members proved to be effective, with 10 key policies we supported passing the entire General Assembly.
Nearly 75 business leaders joined us for our annual kick off to the legislative session. The discussion covered the rapid transformations needed to meet 21st century education demands. Members heard from Jaime Casap, Google’s Chief Education Evangelist, Colorado’s famous ‘kidpreneur’ Jack Boneau, creator of Jack’s Stands and Marketplaces and a student in Adams 12 Five Star Schools, and Kellie Lauth, then-STEM Coordinator for Adams 12.
In 2017, Colorado Succeeds became the new host organization for Colorado STEM, a public-private partnership started in 2014. Since its launch, Colorado STEM has built a diverse coalition of stakeholders from across Colorado with a dedicated focus on improving STEM education statewide. As a collective impact model, the Colorado STEM network enables Colorado Succeeds to connect business leaders directly with educators, schools, and districts in exciting new ways.
Colorado STEM 2.0 Vision:
All Colorado learners have the STEM education and experiences needed to succeed in the innovation economy.
STEM Champions Top Priorities:
We are entering the Age of Agility, an era characterized by accelerating adoption of artificial intelligence and automation. This has huge implications for Colorado, which has struggled to produce homegrown, skilled talent.
In order for Colorado’s education system to meet the demands of this new age, Colorado Succeeds explored what experiences and competencies children entering kindergarten classrooms today, the students who will graduate from high school in 2030, need to achieve well-being in their lives.
The result: Vision 2030. Vision 2030 outlines seven education principles for increasing the agility of the system, six educational experiences we desire for all students, and five transferable competencies we need all students to acquire so they can succeed in a rapidly changing environment.
On October 3, 2017, Colorado Succeeds joined forces with 9NEWS, mindSpark Learning, and Governors Hickenlooper, Ritter, and Owens to co-host The Inaugural Succeeds Prize. The Succeeds Prize is a new effort to recognize Colorado’s educators, reward high-performing schools, and scale promising practices and innovations.
The event was just the first step for The Succeeds Prize. We will next study what makes our winners and finalists successful and share this with educators statewide to benefit all of Colorado’s children. We hope you will continue to join us in this endeavor to show educators across our state that we value their impactful work, we admire their commitment, and we are grateful for their partnership in future-building.
Tara Hardman, Teacher at STEM Launch K-8
Ken Tuchman, CEO of TeleTech
Manuel Ramsey, Principal of Bristol Elementary School
Hikmet Ersek, CEO of Western Union
Colorado Succeeds led a delegation of statewide business leaders to Nashville, TN in November.
Tennessee is the fastest improving state in the country for education, and our delegation met with local education, civic, and business leaders to learn from their success. Members also shared the great work happening across Colorado to enhance what is already working.