Connections - Spring 2017 - 14

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Georgia Partnership for
Educational Excellence:

A Culture of Continuous Improvement
BY MARY LOU JAY
IT'S EASY FOR an association to fall
into a habit of holding a meeting or
providing a service just because it's
something that they have always
done. The Georgia Partnership for
Excellence in Education, which is
celebrating its 25th anniversary
in 2017, however, has developed an
organizational culture where no
program is sacred and all activities
are subject to stringent review
every year.
"We've always had a continuous
improvement mindset, and when
Steve Dolinger, our president,
came on board 14 years ago we
became even more deliberate about
assessing what we were doing and
seeing if it was still adding value
and if it was a good investment of
time and resources," said Diane
Hopkins, CAE, the Partnership's
vice president.
The organization is a 501(c)(3)
created by business leaders from
the Georgia Chamber of Commerce
and the Georgia Economic
Developers Association. It works
to impact student achievement
by informing and influencing the
state's leaders through research
and non-partisan advocacy.
The goal is to sustain and grow
Georgia's economic viability by
ensuring that each child in the
state has the opportunity to receive
a quality education to become
college- and/or career-ready.
Although the "Partnership"
(as it is often referred to) has no
members, its partners include
14

> Spring 2017

education, business and local
community leaders, as well as
legislators and others in the
government sector. Its funding
comes from private foundations,
businesses and individual donors.

Ongoing Evaluation
The organization has many
annual events and activities.
There's the yearly report on
the Top Ten Issues to Watch in
education, which is rolled out
during a media symposium that
attracts around three dozen
journalists. Three times a year
the organization holds what it
calls a Critical Issues Forum, a
free public event that focuses on
some topic of current interest to
education stakeholders.
Each year, the Partnership
conducts an Education Policy
Fellowship Program that provides
potential education leaders in the
state-members of its stakeholder
communities-with the training,
knowledge and networks they
need to advance the core issues
of education policy. "Annually
we build another class of 20 to
22 leaders who can become
advocates for education in their
sector and across the state,"
Dolinger added.
While these programs and others
have been successful, the staff
at the Georgia Partnership never
miss an opportunity to try to make
them better. "After every one of our
programs or initiatives, we conduct

what we call a plus/delta analysis,"
said Hopkins. The staff discusses
what went right at the event-the
pluses-and what could be changed
or improved to make the initiative
better-the deltas.
Staff members also engage in an
annual strategic planning retreat.
"We take an in-depth dive into each
of our programs to see if we are
getting a return on our investment
of time and resources, including
actual costs," said Hopkins.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Connections - Spring 2017

GSAE News & Events
New Members
Living Legends: Tim O’Donnell, CIC, Bill Anderson, CAE, LEED AP, and Robin B. Gray Jr., JD
Georgia Partnership for Educational Excellence: A Culture of Continuous Improvement
Questioning the Orthodox Beliefs of Association Governing
The Future of Education and Employment
Building Organizational Resilience
My Internship with the Southern Economic Development Council
GSAE February and April Luncheons
Meetings Thought Leadership
Advertiser.com
Index of Advertisers
Connections - Spring 2017 - intro
Connections - Spring 2017 - bellyband1
Connections - Spring 2017 - bellyband2
Connections - Spring 2017 - cover1
Connections - Spring 2017 - cover2
Connections - Spring 2017 - 3
Connections - Spring 2017 - 4
Connections - Spring 2017 - 5
Connections - Spring 2017 - GSAE News & Events
Connections - Spring 2017 - 7
Connections - Spring 2017 - 8
Connections - Spring 2017 - New Members
Connections - Spring 2017 - Living Legends: Tim O’Donnell, CIC, Bill Anderson, CAE, LEED AP, and Robin B. Gray Jr., JD
Connections - Spring 2017 - 11
Connections - Spring 2017 - 12
Connections - Spring 2017 - 13
Connections - Spring 2017 - Georgia Partnership for Educational Excellence: A Culture of Continuous Improvement
Connections - Spring 2017 - 15
Connections - Spring 2017 - 16
Connections - Spring 2017 - 17
Connections - Spring 2017 - Questioning the Orthodox Beliefs of Association Governing
Connections - Spring 2017 - 19
Connections - Spring 2017 - The Future of Education and Employment
Connections - Spring 2017 - 21
Connections - Spring 2017 - Building Organizational Resilience
Connections - Spring 2017 - 23
Connections - Spring 2017 - My Internship with the Southern Economic Development Council
Connections - Spring 2017 - GSAE February and April Luncheons
Connections - Spring 2017 - 26
Connections - Spring 2017 - Meetings Thought Leadership
Connections - Spring 2017 - 28
Connections - Spring 2017 - 29
Connections - Spring 2017 - Index of Advertisers
Connections - Spring 2017 - cover3
Connections - Spring 2017 - cover4
Connections - Spring 2017 - outsert1
Connections - Spring 2017 - outsert2
Connections - Spring 2017 - 38
Connections - Spring 2017 - 39
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