After 11 years, Dan Ryan is leaving the helm of All Hands Raised.
The CEO of the Multnomah County-wide student success and equity nonprofit says there are "no silver bullets" for the educational obstacles here or across Oregon. But he believes he's leaving the organization with stronger partnerships and deeper results.
"For generations, we've failed many of our children of color and many of our children in poverty," Ryan said in an interview. "These are complex, local challenges, and they take equally local solutions that will take generations."
With an annual budget of about $2 million, All Hands Raised works to improve outcomes for K-12 attendance, racial equity, access to postsecondary schooling and construction and manufacturing careers, as well as help for students transitioning to kindergarten or high school.
Shortly after Ryan joined the organization in July, 2008, All Hands Raised worked to develop a series of 12 community-wide indicators — including everything from birth weight to proficiency at math — to track students' progress from cradle to career.
These indicators are now in use across all seven urban school districts where All Hands Raised operates: Centennial School District, David Douglas, Gresham-Barlow, Multnomah Education Service District, Parkrose, Portland Public Schools and Reynolds.
Ryan says the group also focuses on "breaking down the silos" that separate different teams, such as educators, school counselors, social workers and culturally-specific mentors.
"We expect our children to keep improving and keep getting good grades. Adults need to have that same urgency," he said.
The 56-year-old Roosevelt High School grad hasn't hammered out his next steps yet, but he has no plans to retire. His last day will be June 30 of this year.
"This is my table, too. I'll just have a different role," he said. "I don't know what it will be, but I won't be a CEO."
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