The Boston Foundation has announced the launch of a partnership involving the City of Boston, Boston Public Schools (BPS), and several foundations, charities, and for-profit organizations to support a "cradle-to-career" education pipeline for the city's youth.
Funded by an initial $27 million from the city, BPS, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Boston, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and the Merrimack Valley, New Profit Inc., the Beal Companies, and the Boston, Barr, Eos, Nellie Mae Education, and Robert and Myra Kraft Family foundations, the Boston Opportunity Agenda will support an education pipeline that spans early childhood care and education, out-of-school time education, parent engagement, and postsecondary achievement. Investments will be funded directly by the partners, with each partner funding initiatives most aligned with its work and mission. In addition, the partners have pledged to raise additional funds from private and public sources as needed.
To be aligned with the Acceleration Agenda, BPS's five-year strategic plan for student achievement, the partnership will focus on achieving four goals by 2014: that 75 percent of Boston children enter school with age-appropriate literacy skills; that students across the system are consistently on track to graduate from high school, with 80 percent of eighth-graders earning a B or better in Algebra 1 or Math 8; that the four-year high school graduation rate tops 80 percent and the annual dropout rate is 3 percent or lower; and that 70 percent of BPS graduates obtain at least the equivalent of an associate degree. In addition, the partnership will develop a system-wide network of some thirty state-funded Adult Basic Education programs to strengthen existing program networks and provide more opportunities for English Language training.
"The overarching goal is to make Boston a place defined by upward mobility," said Boston Foundation president and CEO Paul S. Grogan. "Today we know that an excellent education will change the trajectory of students' lives, restoring access to the American dream to a new generation of urban youth. The news from Boston is that this broad array of partners can come together with great singleness of purpose to make this culture of opportunity a reality."