Louisville Community Conversation Highlights City’s Innovative Cradle-to-Career Initiative

Press Release
Press Release

Louisville, Ky. – Local leaders, educators, parents and community members convened recently for a "community conversation" on how to create greater community support of Louisville’s Cradle-to-Career Initiative, with an emphasis on increasing family and community engagement in early childhood care and education.

Arne Duncan in Louisville
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan provides closing remarks at Louisville's community conversation.

Mayor Greg Fischer hosted the event, which took place at Louisville’s Metro United Way. Dr. Libby Doggett, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Early Learning at the U.S. Department of Education gave the opening keynote.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan providing the closing remarks. He emphasized the importance of partnership between the federal  government and local communities in improving educational opportunities and outcomes across the pipeline, from Pre-K to college.

Louisville’s community conversation was organized by Mayor Greg Fischer’s office and the Metro United Way, with assistance from the National League of Cities and the U.S. Department of Education. The conversation focused on what the city and its partners can do to promote kindergarten readiness and how early learning is part of an interconnected education system that includes success in K-12 that paves the way for a smooth transition from high school to postsecondary success.

“Too many kids – almost 50 percent in Louisville – arrive for their first day of kindergarten already behind,” said Greg Fischer, mayor of Louisville, Ky. “The critical work happening here today will help us achieve our goal of giving every child a strong start in life, and I am grateful to the United States Department of Education and the National League of Cities for choosing Louisville to host this conversation.”

This community conversation is one of 15 conversations held in cities across the country resulting from a "memorandum of understanding" signed by the National League of Cities and the U.S. Department of Education in March 2014. The conversations focus on early childhood education, afterschool learning and postsecondary success, and explore ways that cities are working to close the achievement gap and increase student outcomes, including non-academic outcomes such as social and emotional skills. Louisville’s community conversation is the last one in this series of successful events held over the last year.

“These community conversations have increased the visibility of the role local officials can play in creating a productive dialogue on education in their communities,” said Clarence Anthony, CEO and executive director of the National League of Cities. “We will continue to support the work of local leaders across the country in their efforts to provide the highest quality education systems for their youngest residents.”

The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.

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