Litant leads the public-private partnership, which is focused on improving pathways for Minnesotans from early education to career
St. Paul, Minn.— For Minnesota’s economy to thrive, the state must breakdown barriers to opportunity and ensure every person has an equal chance to succeed. This belief is at the core of the state’s P-20 Education Partnership, which was founded in 2009 to increase opportunities for all Minnesotans by creating a seamless system of education from early childhood through postsecondary education and into the workforce. Now, in an effort to advance the work of this public-private partnership, the State has hired Josiah Litant to serve as the first Executive Director.
“Josiah brings a strong background in both K-12 and higher education, where he was committed to supporting students and helping them find a path to successful career,” Minnesota Office of Higher Education Commissioner Dennis Olson said. “As the Executive Director of the P-20 Education Partnership, he will bring that passion for service to a statewide level. I am thrilled to have him on board, and know that with his leadership, the work of P-20 will have an even greater impact on the future of Minnesota’s workforce.”
With the hiring of an Executive Director, there will be increased capacity to work across agencies and organizations. Under his leadership, the P-20 will develop a strategic roadmap to determine priorities and actions for the next several years, as well as identify collaborations and funding opportunities through regional and national partners to support and advance that work. Since being hired, Litant has already built new collaborations across the country, including with policy strategists and leaders of other P-20 councils. These partnerships will help inform the work in Minnesota and bring effective practices to the state.
“I am honored to serve as the inaugural Executive Director of the Minnesota P-20 Education Partnership. The Partnership’s cross-organizational make-up positions us to be a powerful and effective advocate for policies that strengthen educational outcomes across our state,” Litant said. “I am eager to build on the work that has been done throughout the Partnership’s history, and to support collaborative innovation across our many partner organizations and agencies. As a long-time educational leader and also as a parent, there is no higher priority for me than the work we are doing to help ensure that every child in Minnesota has the opportunity to thrive.”
Litant will work in partnership with the P-20 Executive Council, which consists of senior leaders from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, the Minnesota Department of Education, the University of Minnesota, and Minnesota State. Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education at the U of M Twin Cities Robert McMaster serves as the current executive council chairperson, with OHE Commissioner Dennis Olson set to begin his two-year tenure as chairperson on July 1, 2023.
Current areas of focus for the Partnership’s efforts related to policy work and recommendations include:
Increasing the number of Minnesotans with a postsecondary credential
Eliminating educational success (equity) gaps
Participating in efforts to grow the K-12 teacher pipeline and increase the diversity of the teacher workforce
Strengthening educational transitions, such as pre-K to kindergarten and high school to college
Identifying strategies to strengthen dual enrollment opportunities in ways that support students, families, high schools, and colleges
Enhancing the use of statewide data to drive P-20’s educational policy recommendations
Improving education data visibility and access across the state
Developing tools to utilize in identifying credentials of value (that includes credentials that are high demand and lead to a family sustaining wage)
Strengthening the MN workforce talent pipeline
For more information on Minnesota’s P-20 Education Partnership, visit the P-20 section of the OHE website.