Marion Pines Presents Strategies for Implementing Large-Scale Initiatives

COLLEGE PARK, MD—February 21, 2011—At Optimal Solutions Group, LLC’s (Optimal’s) Brown Bag lecture series last Wednesday, Marion Pines shared her insights about successfully implementing initiatives.

Pines, cofounder and co-operator of the Baltimore “innovation high school” Academy for College and Career Exploration (ACCE), presented a list of guiding principles for successful initiative implementation. Citing her experiences in establishing the ACCE back in 2004, Pines stressed the importance of data collection, staff selection, and having passion for the project.

Flexibility and collaboration, negotiating skills, and sustainability strategies were some principles on Pines’ list that she says helped the ACCE reach its current success. The achievements include a college enrollment rate of 85 percent, dropout rate of two percent, and the graduation of three senior classes. Additionally, the high school has established strong partnerships with local employers who participate in the school’s junior-level internship program.

Pines founded the Sar Levitan Center for Social Policy Studieswithin the Institute for Policy Studies at Johns Hopkins University in 1995 and has worked to improve the outcomes for at-risk populations, particularly for disconnected youth and ex-offenders, for almost 40 years. She has also taken city- and statewide leadership roles in revitalizing neighborhoods and reducing the high school dropout rate in Baltimore and other Maryland communities.


Optimal Solutions Group, LLC

Founded in 2000, Optimal Solutions Group, LLC is a nonpartisan public policy research and technical assistance firm that stands out through its quantitative expertise and innovative approaches to provide rigorous, data-driven research and technical assistance to government agencies, corporations, nonprofit organizations, and philanthropic foundations. Located at the University of Maryland’s M Square Research Park in College Park, Optimal is a leader in driving real-time public policy research. Optimal has 60+ employees including multidisciplinary researchers with backgrounds in business, communication, economics, education, health policy, psychology, public policy, sociology, statistics, and urban planning. Optimal has four research centers: Health, Education, Housing, and Workforce Development and Social Policy.


Academy for College and Career Exploration

The ACCE was created in 2004 by the Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Employment Developmentand the Sar Levitan Center of The Johns Hopkins University, Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) at the Johns Hopkins University. The IPS is located at 1300 W. 36th St., Baltimore, Maryland. The ACCE is a transformation public school for grades 6-12 and is headed by Principal Quinhon Goodlowe. The school’s mission isto help Baltimore youth develop a passion for learning to give their lives a constructive direction.