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Innovation video series, episode 3 — The Slipstream of Consensus


Philanthropy isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be.

Though well intentioned, sometimes it can even cultivate silos and disengagement. That’s why leaders of the National Campaign for Grade Level Reading wanted to make sure they looked philanthropy square in the face and only put resources next to what works, says Ralph Smith, Managing Director of the National Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. One of the reasons the campaign’s network throughout the United States is strong, Smith explains, is an outcome that crosses party lines and has as much heft in a red state as it does in a blue state.

“If we care about high school graduation, we have to care about third grade reading, particularly for low-income students.” Smith says this topic lies in “the slipstream of consensus.” And because we all agree it’s important, failing to make improvements is unacceptable.

Smith explains that when the dominant narrative in the nation is that politics is broken and polarization is rampant, the result is paralysis and gridlock.

“A lot of communities are sick and tired of that narrative.”

See Smith outline the action plan for the national campaign in this engaging talk. And be sure to check back with our blog every first and third Friday of the month for the latest episode from the Get Georgia Reading Innovation Forum, leading up to Innovation Summit II this fall.

Episode 2—Find Your Voice, featuring Comer Yates, executive director or Atlanta Speech School.