About Raise DC
Raise DC brings together committed stakeholders from across sectors to change mindsets and actions with the aim of building better, more equitable systems for DC’s young people, from cradle to career.
As a partnership of more than 250 organizations, we agree on a common set of citywide goals and are working to put resources toward them in a consistent way. Our backbone staff coordinates and unifies the many organizations, agencies, and businesses throughout the District that have efforts in place to improve education to make greater change – known as collective impact.
At Raise DC, we start small but dream big. Our staff and Change Networks begin by planning and testing out programs and interventions on a small scale before expanding them, but we are ultimately aiming to build trust and accountability among partners involved to create broader buy-in, discover opportunities where we can align and scale, change behaviors, and eventually, transform systems that influence our five high-level goals. As partners in this movement, we seek to build a DC in which every young person’s value is recognized, and they are afforded every opportunity to succeed.
Our five goals represent critical milestones in a young person’s life, and our work focuses on supporting them from birth through age 24.
Our mission is to spur citywide action to improve educational outcomes for DC's children and youth, from cradle to career.
Raise DC partners with schools, government agencies, community-based organizations, philanthropic organizations, and businesses to improve outcomes for children and youth along a cradle-to-career continuum, from birth through age 24.
To work toward its five high-level goals, Raise DC convenes more than 70 stakeholder organizations in working groups, known as Change Networks, and uses data to drive forward shared policies and practices. Raise DC's Leadership Council, a table of more than 30 of the District's cross-sector leaders, holds Raise DC's backbone staff, operations team, and Change Networks accountable for making progress toward its high-level goals, in addition to providing policy recommendations.
Raise DC uses the collective impact model to improve educational outcomes for the District's children and youth. Collective impact is based on the premise that, in order to achieve large-scale change throughout the educational continuum, actors across sectors must work together and collaborate on policies for a child to succeed along the continuum at every stage, from cradle to career.
A successful approach to collective impact rests on four pillars:
Shared Community Vision: All participants have a shared vision for change, as well as a common understanding of the problem and how they will work collectively to solve it.
Evidence-Based Decision-Making: Partnerships make decisions based on local data that shows areas of need and promising practices that are already working for children and youth.
Collaborative Action: Community members come together to use data to collectively move outcomes.
Investment and Sustainability: Partnerships initiate or redirect resources (time, talent, and treasure) toward data-based practices on an ongoing basis and engage the community to ensure long-term sustainability.
WHO IS AT THE TABLE
RAISE DC'S ROADMAP
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Raise DC is a member of the StriveTogether network, a national movement of partnerships using collective impact to help every child succeed in school and in life from cradle to career, regardless of race, zip code or circumstance. StriveTogether works with nearly 70 community partnerships in 30 states to break down barriers, change systems, and improve outcomes for as many families as possible. The network was formed to spread and support this approach across the country.
HISTORY OF RAISE DC
Raise DC was formed in 2012 to join public, private, philanthropic, and nonprofit leaders together as the District's comprehensive cradle-to-career initiative – focused on improving educational outcomes for children and youth. The five high-level goals were initially defined by a cross-sector convening of more than 150 stakeholders. Raise DC released its first report card tracking the citywide goals in February 2013. Our progress report, focused on citywide improvement, was released in September 2015. We are currently releasing updated editions of the progress report one goal area at a time.
Initially launched in the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education, Raise DC is now fiscally sponsored by the Greater Washington Community Foundation.