Political leaders at all levels, in all parties, continually pledge to expand opportunity and close gaps caused by poverty and inequality. But what would it take to really deliver on those promises?
One approach is to put children at the center of these aspirations and to align community services and resources to give every child an equal chance to succeed through school and into adulthood. In an initiative now being piloted in six cities across the country, communities are working to redesign their municipal systems and form new citywide partnerships so that everyone — elected officials, nonprofit leaders, healthcare professionals, social workers, parents, business owners, and educators — takes on the responsibility of supporting children and closing the opportunity gap.
The initiative — now in its second year, and spearheaded by former Massachusetts Secretary of Education Paul Reville — is called By All Means, a project of the Education Redesign Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. It involves the mayors, school superintendents, and other civic and municipal leaders from Louisville, Kentucky; Oakland, California; Providence, Rhode Island; and Newton, Salem, and Somerville, Massachusetts.