Achieve Hosts State Education Leaders at Annual Meeting, Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Wednesday, December 7, 2016Printer-friendly version

Achieve today brings together state education leaders from across the country for its annual meeting and a celebration of Achieve’s 20th anniversary. Practitioners, policymakers, and thought leaders have convened to discuss the state of college and career readiness of U.S. high school graduates and look back on the progress of the past two decades and the future work still needed to ensure all students are college and career ready.

“Achieve’s work over the past 20 years helped move the idea of college and career readiness for all high school graduates from little-discussed concept to a prominent national priority,” said Mark Grier of Prudential, chairman of Achieve’s board of directors. “We look forward to continuing to advance this important work over the next 20 years to ensure that everyone who receives a high school diploma in the United States is prepared for their next steps.”

“We are very proud of our impact over the past two decades, but much work still remains,” said Michael Cohen, President of Achieve. “Our work has evolved from a primary focus on standards development and policies that incorporate high academic expectations to concrete support for sustaining and implementing these policies; without continuing and broad support and successful implementation, policies don’t mean much. Our work will continues evolve as needed, though we will remain committed to serving as the champion of high expectations for all students in the years to come.”

This year’s meeting will include keynote addresses from J.D. Vance, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis and Juan Salgado, President and CEO of the Instituto del Progreso Latino.

Additional panelists on the agenda include: Jonathan Abundez, High School Senior, Cesar Chavez High School, Washington, DC; Bootsie Battle-Holt, 2016 Los Angeles Unified School District and Los Angeles County Teacher of the Year; Andrew Brennen, National Field Director, Student Voice; Governor Phil Bredesen, Governor of Tennessee (2003-2011); Lydia Burns, Freshman, University of Louisville; Linda Darling-Hammond, President, Stanford Learning Policy Institute and Faculty Director of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education; Nathan Gibbs-Bowling, 2016 Washington Teacher of the Year; Stan Litow, Vice President, Corporate Community Relations, IBM and President of the IBM International Foundation; Candice McQueen, Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Education; Madison Ortega, Rowan County Senior High School, Morehead, Kentucky; Gerard Robinson, Resident Fellow, Education Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute; Cathy Whitehead, 2016 Tennessee Teacher of the Year; and Jamie Woodson, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE).

Media Contact:

Chad Colby, (202) 419-1570,

Kelly Van Beveren, (202) 745-2306,