Spartanburg COUNTY has been named a "Systems Change" and “Proof Point” community thanks to the work of SAM, the county’s seven school districts and our nonprofit and business partners across Spartanburg County.
“Our designations as 'Systems Change' and 'Proof Point' is of great importance. It not only acknowledges the work of SAM, it recognizes the progress of our entire county toward shared goals of improved academic achievement for young people. This has been accomplished with the deep dedication of our public schools and multiple community partners. Reaching “Systems Change” and “Proof Point” designation does not mean the work is finished. Quite the contrary. It means that we have built the foundation for the necessary changes to happen and that we are beginning to see proof of that. Maintaining proof point designation from year to year will require our sharpened focus on the economic mobility of all our students and families across boundaries of region, race, and income. This focus is deeply embedded across Spartanburg County and within SAM’s ongoing efforts.” - Dr. John Stockwell, SAM’s Executive Director.
SAM joins only seven other partnerships having reached these milestone, including: Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky (StrivePartnership); Dallas County, Texas (The Commit Partnership); Dayton/Montgomery County, Ohio (Learn to Earn Dayton); Portland/Multnomah County, Ore. (All Hands Raised); Racine County, Wis. (Higher Expectations for Racine County); Shelby County, Tenn. (Seeding Success); and Tacoma, Wash. (Graduate Tacoma)
“Systems Change” and “Proof Point” designations came after StriveTogether evaluators visited Spartanburg on May 21-23 of this year, meeting with more than a dozen community leaders representing a cross-section of business, nonprofit, and education sectors to assess the impact of SAM’s work across Spartanburg County.
To date, the majority of SAM’s work has been in the kindergarten readiness and early grades reading outcome areas and building the data stream to support the work from birth through post-secondary completion. SAM is increasing efforts in college and career ready high school graduation, and post-secondary targets for enrollment, persistence, and completion. Action in the area of middle grades math will begin soon.
Recently, Steve Ballmer, co-founder of the Ballmer Group, former Microsoft CEO, and chairman of the LA Clippers came to Spartanburg to learn more about the work of SAM. Here is a clip of his comments as SAM’s report, Chapter 3: Systems Change, was released to the public.
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