Case #2215.0

Change at the Speed of Trust: Advancing Educational Opportunity through Cross-Sector Collaboration in Louisville

Publication Date: March 19, 2021
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At the turn of the twenty-first century, Louisville, Kentucky, found itself in the middle to the back of the pack among peer cities along a number of key measures of prosperity and quality of life. Since then, two consecutive mayors had advanced collaborative efforts across sectors to increase students’ college and career readiness and address the city’s significant achievement gap. This case tells the story of how that effort evolved under the leadership of Mayor Greg Fischer into a plan to effect system change in education from “cradle to career,” through the implementation of wraparound services and scholarship guarantees. The case explores cross-sector collaboration and governance in a city-wide context from the mayor’s point of view centering the question of whether the process is moving too fast or too slow. It also supports learning about the design and management of cross-sector collaborations, including common challenges and success factors. A practitioner guide, HKS Case 2215.4, accompanies this case.

Learning Objective:
The primary learning objectives of this case are to help participants cultivate:

  • Awareness of conditions and choices that foster and hinder cross-sector collaboration and the ability to recognize and differentiate common challenges.
  • The ability to imagine and understand the potential effects of alternative approaches to a problem.


Other Details

Teaching Plan:
Available with Educator Access
Case Author(s):
Gaylen Moore, Jorrit De Jong, Paul Reville, Lynne Sacks, and Anna Burgess
Faculty Leads:
Jorrit de Jong
Pages (incl. exhibits):
Louisville, KY
Funding Source:
Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative