Education & Community Leaders Launch The Albany Promise Cradle-To-Career Partnership

May 7, 2012

Albany – SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher and education, government, and community leaders in the City of Albany today launched The Albany Promise Cradle-to-Career Partnership, which brings together regional civic organizations, school districts, colleges, and elected officials in a commitment to improve the education pipeline locally.

At today’s launch, the partnership also released The Albany Promise 2012: Baseline Report To The Community, which provides a snapshot of current student academic achievement and well-being data such as kindergarten readiness, proficiency in English and Math, and high school graduation rates, as well as statistics on bullying, substance abuse, missed classes, and more. The metrics in the report were chosen to create a student roadmap to success. Subsequent reports on the partnership’s progress will be issued each year.

“The launch of Albany Promise marks the critical first step toward a brighter future for all of Albany’s schoolchildren,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “SUNY and the national Strive Network are proud to support this effort. The Albany Promise partners are to be commended for their commitment to working together to improve the city’s education system and ensure that every student in Albany has an opportunity for success within that system. Congratulations to all involved.” 

The Albany Promise Cradle-to-Career Partnership is made up of education, community, business, civic and philanthropic leaders, and is co-chaired by Chancellor Zimpher, Barbara Smith, co-founder of the Albany Family Education Alliance and Albany Common Council member, and Raymond Colucciello, Ed. D., superintendent of the City School District of Albany.

“Albany Promise is an exciting and long overdue initiative that relies upon the leadership and expertise of parents and community members in the target neighborhoods to design effective strategies for their children’s success,” said Councilwoman Smith. “Albany Promise brings a strongly collaborative and evidence-based approach to addressing one of our city’s most pressing concerns.”

“Our school district and our community owe a large debt of gratitude to Chancellor Zimpher for her leadership in concentrating the focus and efforts of this comprehensive group on building a brighter future for all of our city’s young people,” Dr. Colucciello said. “We are fortunate in Albany and the Capital Region to have so many outstanding partners who care so deeply about our children and families. I know the Albany Promise will make a difference for our community.”

“As Mayor of the City of Albany, and a former teacher and school administrator, education is something I am incredibly passionate about, and I am honored to be a part of this important initiative,” said Mayor Gerald D. Jennings. “We must recognize that there are significant issues and challenges facing our students today. The Albany Promise 2012: Baseline Report is a vital tool to help us understand how to address these issues and best meet the needs of our students throughout their academic careers, and their lives. Every child and every situation is different, which is why the vast resources of this partnership are so important; together we can create an education revolution in our Capital City.”

Partners began meeting in February 2011, and have since developed a cradle-to-career education vision, mission, and goals for the Albany community. Their work will at first focus on the most economically challenged areas of the city in Arbor Hill, West Hill, and the South End, with their efforts ultimately brought to scale across Albany.

Baseline data for the neighborhoods initially targeted by Albany Promise includes:

  • Of the 2,834 eligible children ages 0 to 4, only 181 – or 6.4% – are enrolled in licensed, registered child care.
  • 25% of 4th graders are proficient in English Language Arts and 35% are proficient in Math.
  • On average, 9th grade students miss 18 school days per academic year due to unexcused absence, suspension, or incarceration.
  • 45% of high school students passed the English Regents Exam with a score of 75 or better.
  • 58% of residents ages 20 to 24 are employed.
  • 60% of children under age 5 live in poverty.

Albany Promise partners will meet monthly to align and leverage the city’s existing resources to drive better results in education. They will evaluate the baseline report and work collaboratively to improve the metrics and give every child access to high-quality early learning programs and services; ambitious, rigorous and comprehensive education reforms; college- and career-readiness programs; and family and community supports, including improved family engagement in student learning through adult education opportunities.

SUNY is also an important partner in cradle-to-career networks that have formed throughout New York, in Clinton County, Harlem, Rochester, and Queens. In addition, many other neighborhoods in the State have expressed interest in pursuing this major education reform initiative

Strive, a cradle to career framework that was co-created by Chancellor Zimpher, has increased academic achievement as well as kindergarten preparedness and college graduation rates in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky over the last six years. This evidence-based educational reform initiative has produced positive trends in college and high school graduation rates, fourth-grade reading and math scores, and the number of preschool children prepared for kindergarten.

The national network launched in 2011 as a way to connect communities who are building cradle to career civic infrastructure using the Strive framework. The Network enables members to share expertise, identify and adapt programs that work, and develop effective tools and resources that can be brought to bear on specific challenges.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school and business in the state. In 2015–16, SUNY served nearly 1.3 million students, including nearly 600,000 in credit-bearing courses and programs and more than 700,000 through continuing education and community outreach programs. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in nearly $1 billion of externally sponsored activity each year. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.


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