Wednesday March 20, 2013 | 06:47 PM
Posted by Chris Hall

Do you know about Portland ConnectED?  You should. Here's what's up.

Last month Portland Mayor Michael Brennan brought together a remarkable coalition of partners to work as a single community to make Portland schools great.  Here's who's signed up to work together:

Portland School Superintendent Manny Caulk, the John T. Gorman Foundation, and the Samuel L. Cohen Foundation from the charitable sector;  the Presidents of USM and Southern Maine Community College from higher education; the United Way, the Portland Public Library, Creative Portland, Opportunity Alliance and the Portland Regional Chamber.

It's the broadest coalition we can remember that's come together to accomplish four goals that will elevate Portland schools to the next level.  So what are the goals?

Every child enters the Portland public school system ready to learn.  Every third grader reads at grade level.  Portland high school graduation rates exceed the state goal of 90%.  Every Portland high school graduate has the support they need to have a clear path to post-secondary education.

Big goals - difficult ones for certain.  But the right goals for students, for our community and for our economic future.  We're involved because the employer community knows we need to be a part of the effort to make our education system everything it can be. 

Portland ConnectED begins in the City, but over time it will touch our entire region.  As it does you can get involved by reaching out to educators, employers and students to lend a hand.  Every little bit helps, and makes our community stronger.

For more information about Portland ConnectED read Randy Billings' piece in the PPH and stay tuned for more in coming months from a unique and powerful coalition that's ready to take on the toughest education challenges - and succeed.

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About the Author

Chris Hall is the CEO of the Portland Regional Chamber. He’s been working in Chambers of Commerce in Maine for over 20 years, and Notes from the Chamber will bring you his perspective and comment on what’s happening in the Portland region that’s most important to our economy today and tomorrow.

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