Model & Strategy
StriveTogether works with communities to improve education outcomes by helping them aggregate, analyze and utilize data more effectively and by helping community actors operate in a collaborative way. Education in the U.S. is program rich, but system poor – despite the massive amount of resources spent on disjointed education efforts, communities have yet to achieve desired student outcomes, nor have we witnessed systemic, sustainable change within the education system. StriveTogether’s proven expertise, effective resources and nationally recognized collective impact approach enables communities to create local education ecosystems to support children and youth from cradle to career.
Built on lessons in 53 communities, StriveTogether’s Theory of Action helps local partnerships build and sustain civic infrastructure by engaging the community, eliminating disparities, focusing on continuous improvement and aligning existing resources. StriveTogether helps communities unite stakeholders around shared goals, measures and results in education. StriveTogether supports these communities through network activities, tools and strategic assistance aligned with a nationally-recognized Theory of Action. Network outcomes include kindergarten readiness, early grade reading, middle grade math, high school graduation, postsecondary enrollment and attainment.
Until 2017, Jeff Edmondson led StriveTogether and was the founding executive director of the StrivePartnership. Jeff now serves as Executive Director of Community Mobilization at Ballmer Group. Prior to founding StriveTogether, Edmondson was the founding executive director of the StrivePartnership in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, a partnership of postsecondary, K-12, business, philanthropic, non-profit, and civic organizations aimed at increasing education outcomes for students throughout the region. StrivePartnership is one of the most notable collective impact initiatives and Edmondson has drawn on the work of the Partnership to develop StriveTogether and the national Cradle to Career Network.
Jennifer Blatz serves as president and CEO for StriveTogether, where she oversees the organization’s operations and strategy for accelerating the progress of cradle-to-career partnerships to change systems and improve educational outcomes. Prior to her work with StriveTogether, Jennifer worked closely with StriveTogether Founder Jeff Edmondson to launch StrivePartnership, a cross-sector, cradle-to-career partnership serving Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky and one of the most notable collective impact initiatives in the country.
StriveTogether’s “Cradle to Career” Network includes nearly 70 cross-sector partnerships working to create more equitable systems and attain better outcomes for every child. The Network impacts more than 13 million children, including more than 9 million children of color across 30 states.
Each network community is progressing through a continuum of gateways as they build and sustain civic infrastructure, known as StriveTogether’s Theory of Action. Today, 11 Network members are in the “Emerging” gateway, 42 are in the “Sustaining” gateway and 15 are in the “Proof Point” gateway.
StriveTogether is entering into year one of a new strategic plan in which network members are working toward an ambitious five-year goal to accelerate the progress of at least 24 communities to reach a new, elevated Systems Transformation gateway in which they demonstrate evidence of outcomes improving, disparities closing, and a deeper level of engagement with adjacent sectors such as housing, health, transportation, and human services to transform systems.