The State as the Unit of Change: Building Capacity to Impact Learners

Program Dates 
August 14-15, 2014

Grantmakers for Education Member Briefings are place-based programs that offer the opportunity for education grantmakers to come together in-person to explore, in-depth, an area of shared interest.

Join Us for the 2014 Member Briefing:

The State as the Unit of Change: Building Capacity to Impact Learners

In partnership with Rose Community Foundation
August 14-15 • Denver, Colorado


About the program

This program starts at 12:00pm on August 14 and ends at 3:00pm on August 15 and will take place in Denver, Colorado.

Often the most high profile public policy debates on education happen at the national level. Laws like No Child Left Behind are meant to raise achievement and close achievement gaps. But federal influence on education is limited. States have to raise revenue for education and sets conditions for spending those funds. They also decide who may teach and what students are expected to learn, how that learning is assessed, and what accountability measures are put into place.

This Member Briefing explores The State as the Unit of Change in Education; looking at the convergent and divergent points between federal, state and local policies and how grantmakers are engaging at the state level across the country to affect real and lasting change. The program will examine the Colorado Education Initiative (formerly the Colorado Legacy Foundation)—a unique public-private partnership in conjunction with a state agency that has garnered national attention from U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, and several states considering the creation of similar entities. In particular we will look at how the Initiative—with the support of philanthropy—is helping the Colorado Department of Education build implementation capacity at the Department and in school districts and schools statewide to increase the graduation rate and close the achievement gap.

Member Briefing Topics

  • An exploration of the state as a critical leverage point for investment in impacting education;
  • Insights from local and national funders working independently and collaboratively to fund state-level work;
  • An in-depth look at Colorado Education Initiative, a public-private partnership that has garnered national attention and the Initiative's areas of focus (STEM, Next Generation Learning, Health & Wellness and Educator Effectiveness);
  • Perspectives from state leaders on the challenges and opportunities of education reform at the state level; and
  • An opportunity for grantmakers to examine how they can support their state’s in building capacity to impact learners.