Thursday, March 10, 2011

Union and District Leaders Help Lead National Collaborative Effort to Improve Student Learning

Twelve leadership teams selected for the NEA Foundation Institute for Innovation in Teaching and Learning based on record of achievement

(WASHINGTON, March 10, 2011) The NEA Foundation has selected 12 teams of teacher union and school district leaders from across the country to participate in a national effort to address challenges facing public education. On March 7 and 8, the teams joined the NEA Foundation staff in St. Louis, Mo. for the launch of the NEA Foundation’s Institute for Innovation in Teaching and Learning.  

Through the multi-year program, the teams will collaborate to tackle some of the most pressing issues in public education, such as teacher evaluation and assignment, compensation systems and layoffs, increasing the effectiveness and relevance of professional development, and providing an equitable education to all students. The teams were chosen to participate in the NEA Foundation’s Institute because of their commitment to jointly designed union-district efforts to improve teaching and learning.

These initial teams are grouped geographically in “hubs” essentially in the Northeast and Midwest regions to facilitate interaction between and among the teams. The districts include:  Jefferson County, Ky.; Elgin, Ill.; Peoria, Ill.; Springfield, Ill.; Montgomery County, Md.; Cambridge, Mass.; Durham, N.C.; Columbus, Ohio; Erie, Pa.; Fond du Lac, Wis.; Green Bay, Wis.; and Milwaukee, Wis.

“It is evident in the work they have already begun that the school district and teacher union leaders from these 12 districts have shown a commitment to working jointly to design and deliver strong reform programs that will improve teaching and learning in their communities,” said NEA Foundation President & CEO, Harriet Sanford. “The Institute will provide opportunities for them to learn directly from each other and share experiences to the benefit of students.”

Each of the Institute’s initial participants has identified issues most critical to their students and communities. The Institute will support the local work in several ways. Staff and coaches will provide technical assistance and data-based feedback to the teams, in support of their joint reform work. Learning resources, including curricula addressing the context of educational reform, new forms of labor-management relations, and educational equity for all students are also provided to help build knowledge and capacity.

Through the Institute, the NEA Foundation also provides a comprehensive web platform that provides these and other online resources and the opportunities for teams to interact with each other.   

About The NEA Foundation
The NEA Foundation is a public charity supported by contributions from educators' dues, corporate sponsors, and others who support public education initiatives.We partner with education unions, districts, and communities to create powerful, sustainable improvements in teaching and learning. Visit for more information. Find us on Facebook and Twitter, and visit our blog.

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