Achieve Launches Education Reform Sustainability Resources

Thursday, October 8, 2009Printer-friendly version



Sandy Boyd, (202) 419-1542,


WASHINGTON – October 8, 2009 – As part of its American Diploma Project (ADP), Achieve announced the launch of a new set of resources to help states sustain their efforts to ensure all students graduate from high school college and career ready. "Taking Root: Strategies for Sustaining the College- and Career-Ready Agenda" recognizes the critical importance of sustainability to the policy agenda and offers states the case studies, lessons learned and information they need to build and maintain long-term education reform. The project is made possible with support from the GE Foundation.

"Raising education standards is a challenge on its own," said Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, an Achieve Board member. “But sustaining that change over time, and keeping meaningful reforms in place, is equally important. With these new resources, Achieve is drawing a road map for states as they make the long-term commitment."

As Mike Cohen, Achieve's president noted, “Meaningful and lasting college- and career-ready reform takes time. States that are as intentional about sustaining their policy gains as they are about passing good reform policies to begin with are the most likely to see those policies take root and student achievement rise."

The “Taking Root” materials were first previewed at the 2009 Achieve ADP communications workshop and the annual ADP leadership meeting, where key staff from Governors' offices and leaders from K-12, higher education, state boards of education, legislatures and business communities in 35 states gathered to discuss the college- and career-ready agenda. Available resources include:

  • Four case studies that examine both the governmental and non-governmental strategies that were effective in making education reform last in Indiana, Massachusetts, South Carolina and Texas.
  • A lessons learned paper that draws on and synthesizes the case studies' ten overarching lessons and strategies for sustainability.
  • An audit tool that states can use in their own sustainability planning.

"The GE Foundation is happy to work with Achieve on important education issues," said Bob Corcoran, president of the GE Foundation. "Supporting education by creating a positive, sustainable environment in the education system is vital to the country's future."

Achieve has also developed an accompanying set of tools and resources around communications, "Taking Root: Communicating the College- and Career-Ready Agenda," in recognition that strategic communications and outreach are critical for the adoption, implementation and sustainability of college- and career-ready policies.

Launched in 2005, Achieve’s ADP Network brings state, education and business leaders together to work to align high school standards, assessments, graduation requirements and accountability systems with the demands of college and careers. The Network has grown from 13 to 35 states, educating nearly 85 percent of all U.S. public school students.

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Created in 1996 by the nation’s governors and corporate leaders, Achieve is an independent, bipartisan, nonprofit education reform organization based in Washington D.C. that helps states raise academic standards and graduation requirements, improve assessments, and strengthen accountability. Achieve is leading the effort to make college and career readiness a national priority so that the transition from high school graduation to postsecondary education and careers is seamless. To make college and career readiness a priority, in 2005 Achieve launched the American Diploma Project Network. Starting with 13 original states, the Network has now grown to include 35 states educating nearly 85 percent of all U.S. public school students. Through the ADP Network, governors, state education officials, postsecondary leaders and business executives work together to improve postsecondary preparation by aligning high school standards, assessments, graduation requirements and accountability systems with the demands of college and careers. For more information about the work of Achieve, visit