The Strive Partnership Releases Fourth Annual Report Card

The Strive Partnership Releases Fourth Annual Report Card

Partnership’s report shows progress by partners to improve achievement in region’s urban core

81 percent of student achievement measures trending in positive direction

CINCINNATI – (Nov. 16, 2011) -- The Strive Partnership released its fourth annual report today, which offers an update on the encouraging progress being made to improve student achievement and growth, cradle to career, in the cities of Cincinnati, Covington, and Newport.  In fact, of the 34 measures of student achievement on which the partnership is focused, 81 percent are trending in the right direction versus 74 percent last year and 68 percent two years ago.

Kathy Merchant, executive committee chair of the partnership, praised the results in this year’s report – as well as the partners that are driving the growth in achievement.  “We are so proud of the progress being made in Cincinnati, Covington and Newport to ensure that every child is succeeding, every step of the way, from cradle to career,” Merchant said.

Rob Reifsnyder, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Cincinnati, said he is pleased at the year-to-year progress and the gains made during the past five years. “Together, the hard work of all of our partners are preparing today’s generation to become tomorrow’s leaders and add long-term value to our community’s success,” Reifsnyder said.  For example,

  • Kindergarten readiness has improved in all three urban school districts over the past several years. Thanks to the work of United Way of Greater Cincinnati’s Success By 6 ®, Newport’s readiness rate has improved 12 percent to 72 percent of students since 2005, Cincinnati’s readiness rate has improved 9 percent to 53 percent of students prepared since 2005, and Covington has seen a 4 percent improvement (versus last year) to 67 percent of students prepared.


  • Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) became the highest-rated urban school district in the state and the only to receive a rating of “Effective”, which was maintained for a second year in a row. Covington experienced meaningful growth in 4th grade reading, 8th grade math, high school graduation rates, and has partnered with Gateway Community and Technical College and the Social Innovation Fund to transform Holmes High School to further drive academic success and postsecondary enrollment. Newport experienced growth in ACT scores and postsecondary rates.


  • Both the University of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky University have seen retention rates improve since 2005, and all four local public colleges and universities have seen improvements to postsecondary completion rates and credentials awarded.


“We know that the success of our region depends in large part on our ability to have great schools,” said Mary Ronan, Superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools.  “We’re moving in the right direction, but we all know that more work lies ahead.”

Superintendent of Covington Independent Public Schools Lynda Jackson agreed.  “Coming together around what works for our kids has to be job number one.”

As such, the partnership is focused on driving collective impact, resource alignment, and data-informed decision-making as a way to improve achievement. Highlights include:

  • Social Innovation Fund, a unique funders’ collaborative representing The Strive Partnership, United Way of Greater Cincinnati, and fourteen others, is leveraging $6 million, including a $3 million federal grant, to support evidenced-based initiatives.


  • Learning Partner Dashboard, combining student-level academic data with student-level service provider data (i.e. mentoring, afterschool, tutoring, etc.) at CPS. This effort is targeted to improve our ability to support students with specific resources, drive data-informed decision-making, and improve the impact of services on student success. Efforts are underway to connect the Dashboard with early learning and development data, as well as to take this unique platform to Covington and Newport this fall.


The partnership’s executive director, Greg Landsman, said that while great progress has been made, there is much work to be done. “Our collective goal of ensuring the success of every child can only be reached if we can continue to improve – together.”


Founded in 2006, The Strive Partnership unites common providers around shared goals shared issues, goals, measurements and results, and then actively supports and strengthens strategies that work.  The Strive Partnership is a subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks.

KnowledgeWorks is bringing the future of learning to America’s high schools and creating widespread, lasting change in the communities and states we serve. Our portfolio of high school approaches includes New Tech Network high schools, EdWorks high school redesign, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and Early College High School.

You can read the entire report here: 2011 Partnership Report