Where education and business connect to ensure students thrive in college and careers.

There is no question about it: our nation needs to graduate more high school seniors and graduate them ready for college and careers. The community of Montgomery County, Maryland—home to one of the nation’s largest school systems—has been successful on both fronts. And now, the 114th Partnership is sharing what we’ve learned about collegial collaboration between education, business, and foundations with communities nationwide.

Why are we called the 114th Partnership?

Our name is inspired by the 114th meridian, the beginning of the Great Continental Divide in the United States. We seek to create a place where business, education, and foundations come together to bridge the great divides between college ready and not ready; between the classroom and the real world; between business and education.

Why? All to make sure students are better prepared and more inspired to thrive in college and careers.

A proven approach

The 114th Partnership is a national nonprofit program based on the success of the Montgomery County Business Roundtable for Education (MCBRE).

Shaping the future.

America’s strength lies in an educated, resilient population.

School districts around the country face constricting budgets, an increasing diversity of student needs, and rising demands for college-ready graduates. Even the strongest systems welcome additional support to reach the next level of student achievement.

The 114th Partnership seeks to support those communities by helping them maximize their resources and realize their goals. We invest our time and talent in districts where we can best accelerate progress toward closing the achievement gap.

Together, we can shift the conversation in America from what’s “wrong” with our schools—to what is right and replicate what’s working.

Signs are pointing to a shortage of skilled American workers

Skilled American Workers

By 2018, 30 million jobs will require post-secondary education. At current rates, only 11M of 49M current public school students will be college-ready.

Our mission.


We provide districts with proven methods for building relationships and results that endure. We connect by:

  • Building partnerships grounded in trust by initiating honest conversations about where we have succeeded and failed—and what we have learned along the way
  • Creating a sense of shared identity and interconnectivity between education leaders and business leaders
  • Giving teachers ways to connect classroom learning to college and career opportunities


We accelerate progress by creating a diverse and selective network of business and education professionals. We spark by:

  • Starting authentic conversations between leaders and expert practitioners to garner new ideas
  • Stimulating the “Aha Moments”—flashes of insight that inspire innovation
  • Reigniting the passion all education employees bring to their fields by showing them how every role contributes to student success


We strategically invest our time and energy in communities with strong leaders who are actively involved in developing advantageous solutions. We empower communities by:

  • Identifying the K–12 pathway followed by their own successful graduates so they can build on what works—and eliminate what doesn’t
  • Building a culture of engaged employees—elevating education systems to become employers of choice
  • Leveraging volunteer time from communities more effectively by scoping skills-based volunteering opportunities

We bring together the best
to do the best.

There are many great leaders and educators in our schools who are anxious for our support to accelerate their efforts. We focus our work in those communities that are already doing good work toward college and career readiness goals for all students—communities committed to building a successful partnership based in shared goals.

We also work closely with Dr. Jerry Weast—former superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools and founder of the Partnership for Deliberate Excellence—as well as other leading education consultants to coach school system leadership teams.

And we know that every community has a business community willing to share lessons learned and engage with education leadership in peer-to-peer dialogues.

The work of the 114th Partnership is underwritten by regional and national foundations and also supported by our founding national partners: Deloitte, Gallup, Kaiser Permanente, Pearson, Sodexo, and UnitedHealthcare.

It works.
And it’s sustainable.

Our solution: By treating educators like clients, business leaders can share proven strategies to help educators define and solve their toughest challenges—often the same challenges faced in business. Through this process, both the businesses and educators find the professional development that often goes missing when resources are tight.

Our successful collaborations have helped school systems become more efficient, reduce costs, and improve student outcomes. Examples of projects include:

  • Helping a school system outline measurable goals and predictive analytics toward college readiness—and map a pathway from kindergarten to college.
  • Supporting the use of data to increase student achievement and close gaps in education. For example, helping school systems obtain data on their graduates to identify patterns for success they could repeat.
  • Introducing concepts about positive workforce culture and employee engagement into a school system—with the idea that best places to work often attract and retain the best talent and become top-performing organizations.
  • Sharing functional expertise, including facilities management, financial management, and technology management to drive efficiencies that contribute to academic success.
  • Organizing pro bono consulting projects that meet the goals of the school system, which could include change management, Six Sigma lean management training, branding, or human capital strategies.
  • Developing an ongoing Business Advisory Team for peer-to-peer leadership development and targeted donated projects, including skill set workshops.
  • Helping develop local programming to connect coursework to the “real world.”
Forward thinking

Forward thinking

With our support, MCPS was the first district in the nation to adopt a clear metric to calculate graduation success—80 percent of students would graduate college-ready by 2014, as measured by SAT, ACT, and AP scores.

Success in
greater detail.

Montgomery County Public Schools maintains its position as one of the country’s top-performing districts. And they’ve increased student achievement while transitioning to a majority minority population with a greater diversity of student needs—a challenge many communities aren’t able to overcome. For the 2010–2011 school year, the system posted these impressive results:

  • 85.7% of students graduated from high school (#1 in the nation’s largest school districts)
  • 60% of graduates go on to graduate college within 6 years (twice the national average)
Stronger Together

Stronger Together

Our work was profiled in a Harvard Business School Case Study.

Montgomery County
to a national organization.

We’ve launched our initial effort to share what we’ve learned with a community in San Rafael, California. We’re working with educators and businesses to create a Community of Deliberate Excellence. This program is a joint effort between the Partnership for Deliberate Excellence, founded by the nationally renowned Dr. Jerry Weast, and the 114th Partnership. We aim to build three Communities of Deliberate Excellence within our first year and up to ten over the first three years.

Contact us:

Want to learn more? Email

  • Phone: 301-279-3700
  • Fax: 301-315-7300

Media Contact: Anna Gemolas, 301-751-2911,