In the 19th century, America created its ﬁrst public schools. In the 20th century, we created enough schools to enroll every child. We are taking up the 21st century challenge of ensuring a universally high-quality education for all, so that we will finally see every child in the United States realize his or her full potential.
Our story starts not with the 50CAN network, but with the founding of ConnCAN in 2005. At the time, Connecticut was home to the largest achievement gap in the country. A passionate group of citizens—parents, policy wonks and philanthropists alike—came together to bring meaningful change to the education system at the local level. Over the next five years, the ConnCAN team built a successful model of state-level advocacy.
Marc Porter Magee, Ph.D., who was serving as ConnCAN’s chief operating officer, took up the challenge of bringing the success of ConnCAN’s campaigns to other states around the country in 2010.
Officially launched as an independent organization in January 2011, 50CAN has grown into a 50+ person strong network with campaigns in Delaware, Rhode Island, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia, fellowships in New Mexico, Florida and New Jersey, affiliates in California and Virginia, a national headquarters in Washington, D.C. and an alumni network of advocates across the country.