Mission

The mission of the Rodel Charitable Foundation of Arizona is to improve Arizona’s pre-kindergarten through grade 12 public education system so that it is widely recognized as one of the best in the country.

 

 

The Evolution of Rodel

The Beginning

Founded in 1999 with the mission to improve Arizona’s elementary & secondary education systems so they are among the nation’s best, the Rodel Foundation of Arizona spent almost two decades developing, implementing and evaluating three key initiatives that focused on raising student achievement.

 

Early on, Rodel recognized the power of collaboration and the need to cultivate a broad and diverse group of champions for education. To that end All A’s was created, a network of key leaders from government, education, philanthropy and business who gathered annually to better understand important education issues and to take action to improve education in Arizona.

 

With a deep belief in fact-based decision making, Rodel commissioned a strategic plan titled, Lead with Five, which identified research-based reforms and outlined options for wise investments in education.  The report was published in 2005 but the strategies it proposed remain relevant to today’s ongoing debate about effective resource allocation.

A Tipping Point

As the Foundation approached the 20 year mark, it was time for Rodel to evaluate its effectiveness in achieving its mission.  Rodel concluded the transformational change envisioned by its mission required more than could be accomplished by programs, research or convening alone.

 

From this tipping point in 2016, Rodel has been exploring ways in which it could engage its knowledge and assets in a way that would bring about significant and continual improvement for all students in Arizona’s K-12 system.

Going Forward

Taking up the challenge to change a system as complicated as public education begins by understanding the enormity of the undertaking.

 

Massive amounts of money and energy have been consumed by this effort yet system wide progress remains elusive.

 

Effective practices need to be accompanied by supportive public policies to reduce or eliminate the barriers to large-scale adoption.

 

In shifting toward policy and advocacy we recognized our impact would be limited if we acted in isolation.

 

Moving the needle requires cultivating effective collaboration; working together across silos, organizations, sectors and networks.  That led to the creation of the Bert A. Getz Center for Collaborative Philanthropy; our new home from which we intend to build capacity to affect policy development; change systems and, in collaboration with others, ignite the kind of transformational change that will result in Arizona’s public education system being one of the best in the country.