Our State Summit Strategy
For several years, NCDE has pioneered annual state summits that bring together state and local leaders from low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities, from education, banking, workforce development and philanthropy. Our aim is to foster action planning in a state’sLMI communities to improve coordination and alignment of otherwise siloed efforts to help LMI learners of all ages and their families to climb out of intergenerational poverty.
We orient state and local leaders to essential dimensions of a systemic approach to digital equity in support of systemic inclusion. We explore:
- why less than systemic approaches to the digital divide and building better bridges out of poverty have been found conclusively not to work.
- research on essential dimensions to address for impact.
- resources and service providers available to help address each dimension (providers of affordable and free broadband, computers, tech support, etc.)
- examples of LMI communities that have undertaken bank CRA and/or foundation-financed systemic digital equity and systemic inclusion initiatives.
Then we involve participants in:
- intensive action planning among an LMI community’s leaders, with attention to ensuring voice and agency (“nothing about us without us“) for those living in poverty to inform and shape local efforts
- intensive action planning to develop an active statewide network by which LMI community teams share resources and promising practices.
- designing sustained initiatives that can only be addressed cost effectively through regional or statewide collaboration — e.g., spurring CRA investment for affordable broadband across a state’s underserved rural and urban areas.
Each state summit is intended to be annualand to form and then each year reconvene a State Council on Systemic Inclusion, share progress made since the last summit, and plan next steps to further strengthen measurable inclusion outcomes for LMI learners of all ages and their families.
Calendar of Virtual State Summits
In partnership with the State Education Technology Directors Association, we are developing a national calendar of virtual state summits on systemic inclusion.
Watch this page for more details on summits in partnership with state leaders in nearly two dozen states!
Why Systemic Inclusion?
“Since the federal Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) was passed in 1977, banks have made required investments of more than $3 trillion for economic opportunity in LMI communities, yet most key indicators of economic opportunity show little improvement — e.g., in access to capital and credit, income inequality, or upward mobility. Equally, over this same span, educational; systems, state and federal grant programs and foundations have invested many billions of dollars on educational opportunity with equally little impact on such challenges as the school-to-prison pipeline, disproportionate assignment of students of color to special education and discipline referrals, and achievement gaps.
Broadly speaking, banks’ CRA spending, nearly always crafted with the best of intentions, is driven by compliance rather than impact considerations. Many CRA investments are predicated on the unexamined assumption that LMI adults will have survived growing up in poverty to be sufficiently self-confident, skilled lifelong learners that they can take full advantage of CRA-backed financial literacy, economic inclusion and affordable housing opportunities. Yet, these are usually “one-legged-stool” resources — e.g., affordable housing may be available, but not close to transportation to get to living wage jobs, coupled with affordable childcare. And many excellent financial literacy and inclusion programs are offered only online, on the very flawed assumption that intended beneficiaries have affordable access to broadband, a computer, and tech and librarian support to use these tools successfully.
Meanwhile, education foundations have financed piloting, assessing, validating and disseminating equally wonderful innovations in educational practices and supports for LMI learners, but these are nearly always undertaken to address the consequences of poverty, but not the root cause of poverty itself. Yet we know that children growing up in poverty often lose the heart, persistence and self-confidence needed to take advantage of economic opportunities in later years that are usually offered too little and too late.
NCDE’s commitment, then, is to assist leaders across these disconnected sectors to collaborative;ly design integrated investments that address both economic and educational opportunity for the same LMI learners, families and communities.