Last week, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Education Excellence Task Force, launched the Mayor’s Online Education Playbook, a showcase of the most effective education initiatives that U.S. cities are employing in order to eliminate the educational achievement and opportunity gap. Turn the Page KC, a nonprofit organization Mayor Sly James started in 2011 to ensure every child in Kansas City is reading on grade level by the end of third grade, was selected as one of the 11 initiatives to be highlighted in the playbook.
“The Playbook will serve as a resource for all mayors, regardless of political affiliation, span of control or prior experience in the education sphere,” Mayor Hancock said. “The site specifically focuses on actions that city mayors can take to lead and implement some of the most innovative and effective education initiatives in the country and, ultimately, will work to increase educational opportunity for all children and youth.”
Las Vegas Mayor and Educational Excellence Task Force Vice Chair Carolyn Goodman, Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, Kansas City Mayor Sly James and West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon along with Mayor Hancock comprised the team that provided guidance in the development of robust application criteria and a process to choose which initiatives would be showcased.
“The selection of Turn the Page KC as one of the most effective education initiatives in the country is a tremendous honor,” said Mayor Sly James. “Education is personal for me because it changed my life. So this initiative is very near and dear to my heart and it’s incredibly humbling to watch it get recognized for its great work — especially by a group of Mayors who truly understand how to get things done and tackle big problems.”
The application process was open to any mayor who is a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The selection committee examined the applications and selected the first 11 initiatives to be highlighted, which all work toward one of the four goals of the Task Force:
· Increase Access to High Quality Early Childhood Education
· Increase the number of high performing seats
· Keep students on track to graduate
· Ensure students have access to and complete a post-secondary pathway