Strong Start To Finish

Hope for the Coming Year

I’ve been asked a lot this month if I am hopeful. 

It is a predictable question for this time of year.

The flipping of the annual calendar always brings with it a time of reflection, of renewal, of a collective sense of hope.  

And in this moment, as we mark the beginning of 2021, many of us are excited that advances in public health policy and vaccinations finally offer a path to take grasp of the COVID-19 pandemic. And that new federal administration and states' leadership, including SSTF systems leaders, legislators, and governors, will offer opportunities to advance policy and benefit students at all levels–especially for those pursuing higher education.

And this is natural, to wonder if others hope, to hope oneself. This optimistic state of mind is the expectation that something good is forthcoming; that better times are ahead. And in this regard, it is understandable why hope has been a common currency of our first month of the year.  

We must be hopeful, but do much more.

And so yes, I am hopeful. But I am also motivated and engaged to convert hope into a fuel that propels us to action; engaged to do more for the state leaders and system teams we work with, for the partners we bring together and for the students we ultimately have a moral necessity to serve. 

Let’s take action together, as the STTF Network.

As we roll forward into legislative sessions, academic terms, and the rhythms of practice that accompany our work, I hope that you too can be motivated and engaged. That you continue to pursue with gusto the path we are on as a network to ensure that all our students benefit equally from the promise of postsecondary education and developmental education reforms.

So, with hope and action on my mind, I invite you to join us in our work and for Network members to remember to register for our upcoming Learning Network Convening: Transformation Over Time on March 3 and 4! 

Please contact us for more event information.

Onward and thanks,

Brian A. Sponsler, Ed.D.
Interim Director, Strong Start to Finish
Vice President, Education Commission of the States