Superintendents Speak Out



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Nebraskans can be proud of a long history of stewardship over some of our nation’s best public schools. In a rapidly changing world however, the roles of schools are themselves changing. Today we expect our educators to prepare all students to be career or college ready. But can we realistically expect schools to accomplish this goal on their own?



Over the past year, The State of Education in Nebraska has explored how the intersection of time, opportunity, and school-community alliances are giving rise to innovative partnerships that are helping provide Nebraska students with the supports they need to succeed in school. Our series has focused on initiatives designed to help address the achievement gap – the differences in graduation rates between students of different races and socio-economic backgrounds.

In Superintendents Speak Out, we will give Superintendents from across Nebraska the opportunity to reflect on the ideas we explored in individual programs over the past year. We will explore some of the emerging promising practices that are helping Nebraska educators, despite facing unprecedented challenges, achieve the highest graduation rates our state has seen in decades. We will also hear their perspectives on how communities can collaborate with schools to ensure that the promise of the "Good Life" remains within reach of all Nebraskans.

Superintendents are uniquely positioned to understand the challenges on the horizons that Nebraska schools will face in the coming decades.  Perhaps more than anyone else, they also understand the limitations on what the schools can do with students who spend less than 20% of their waking hours in a formal classroom environment and come from such diverse family situations.  

               — Jeff Cole, Vice President for School-Community Partnerships
                    Nebraska Children and Families Foundation



Horizons National: Summer Learning

Watch this graphical representation of what happens in the summer
to both middle-income and poverty-level students.



Morton Middle School:
Expanded Learning Opportunities for Young Minds

Morton Middle School's Panther Pack extended-day program provides academic and emotional support for children of working families from all socioeconomic backgrounds.

Cody-Kilgore’s Lessons in Entrepreneurship

Cody is A Town Too Tough to Die.
Watch how this rural community in Nebraska's Sandhills rallied around a school project to open the town's first grocery store in over a decade.




Panelist Bios

John Baylor
Program Moderator, John Baylor Test Prep CEO
Todd Chessmore
Cody-Kilgore Unified School District
Mark Evans
Omaha Public Schools
Dr. Steve Joel
Lincoln Public Schools
Dr. Kyle McGowan
Crete Public Schools
Amy Shane
O'Neill Public Schools
Dr. Jami Jo Thompson
Norfolk Public Schools
Dr. Caroline Winchester
Chadron Public Schools
Cory Worrell
Boone Central Schools




NET Learning Services
Nebraska Children and Families Foundation
Nebraska Department of Education
Nebraska Loves Public Schools
America’s Promise Alliance Grad Nation
Avenue Scholars Foundation
Buffett Early Childhood Fund
Center for Children, Families, and the Law
Coalition for Community Schools
Lincoln Community Foundation
Nebraska Community Learning Center Network
Nebraska Trucking Association

Project Liftoff
Urban League of Nebraska
United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County

United Way Readers, Tutors and Mentors


© 2013

American Graduate is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in partnership with America's Promise Alliance, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.