In 2013, the Gainesville Chamber started a conversation about what role the business community should play in shaping education in Alachua County. That conversation led to an examination of successful models executed in regions across the country to transform education systems. In April 2014, the Gainesville Area Chamber and Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce met to discuss the implementation of the LA Compact.
Simultaneously, Greater Gainesville stakeholders also were engaged in a conversation about the direction and coordination of the region’s talent pipeline. From the region’s collective dialogue emerged the idea of an Education Compact to guide, augment and coordinate existing efforts to unite academia and business around an agreed upon set of community-wide education outcomes.
Vice President of Education & Talent Alignment Ian Fletcher completed a fellowship with the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives in Education Attainment and is overseeing the development of the Alachua County Education Compact.
More than 25 of the region’s business, government, community, and education leaders signed the Compact on May 15, 2015. The aim of the Compact is to facilitate the achievement of six goals.
The Compact has six goals:
- All students graduate from high school
- All students have access to and are prepared for college or career success
- All students have access to pathways to sustainable jobs and careers
- All students develop an appreciation for the arts
- All students develop healthy lifestyle habits
- All students develop a sense of social responsibility
- Support and enhance collaborative partnerships with arts, business, civic, cultural, education, faith-based and health & social service communities to support the development of the whole child.
- Support and enhance high-quality teaching and learning in classrooms and other learning environments.
- Support and enhance innovative practices and/or programs that are working to enhance learning, inclusion of the arts, healthy lifestyles & social responsibility.
- Coordinate advocacy on pre-k through 20 funding and educational policy issues at every level of government.
- Provide students multiple pathways for workforce and career preparation
- Ensure opportunities and support services for students and families service communities.
The desired outcomes will lead to:
- Improve rates of school readiness
- Increase high school graduation rates
- Increase access to postsecondary credentials
- Create an aligned and productive workforce
The Alachua County Education Compact signatories commit to regularly measuring the Compact’s progress in pursuit of the six overarching goals listed above. To achieve these goals, the Alachua County Education Compact Foundation board formed several committees. Each committee is developing joint strategies and initiatives and aggregating measurable community data to address shared interests across Alachua County Education Compact goals.
The Compact Foundation serves as the coordinating body of the Alachua County Education Compact by guiding strategic priorities and accountability measures. The desired outcomes for the Alachua County Education Compact are to increase school readiness rates, access to postsecondary credentials and high school graduation rates and create an aligned and productive workforce.
Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Statement
With challenge comes opportunity. Communities around the country and the world united last year, asking, “How can we do better?” Gainesville was ahead of the curve in this effort—having partnered with stakeholders since 2018 on significant research studies and community conversations and workshops—but recent events afforded us the opportunity to reassess and ramp up our efforts.