From "A Nation at Risk" to "No Child Left Behind", efforts to improve K-12 education have increasingly recognized that improvement requires reform of a host of interconnected systems that make up education as we know it. "School reform" still means many things to many people, but there is widespread agreement that it must be more than just "tinkering around the edges."
The Education Alliance has convened a group of deans, superintendents, and principals to address the low rate of minority participation in the teaching profession. This consortium of six leading colleges and universities that prepare teachers in the Northeast, plus 3 principals and 3 superintendents, has created an innovative program aimed at lowering the barriers to entry by individuals of color into the education profession. This consortium is called the Collaborative Alliance Network (CAN).
With support from a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, The Education Alliance developed a research-based set of supports, strategies and processes to build and support collective leadership capacity, sponsor and foster cross-stakeholder problem-solving, and mobilize and facilitate collaborative learning. Known as the CSR Support and Capacity Building Program, the primary mission of our work was to support State Education Agencies and Districts in their efforts to significantly impact district and school improvement. With this as our mission, we engaged in a multitude of activities with several states and districts along the Eastern Seaboard.
Web site: /projects/csrqi
The departments of education in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut and New York City contracted individually with The Education Alliance to conduct evaluations of the implementation of each state's Comprehensive School Reform (CSR) program.
The Rhode Island Department of Education contracted with The Education Alliance to conduct an evaluation of its Graduation by Proficiency (GBP) Initiative. The GBP Initiative, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was a project dedicated to the development of a critical component of Rhode Island's diploma system.
The United States Department of Education contracted with The Education Alliance to conduct an evaluation of the implementation of six widely used comprehensive school reform models and changes in teacher practice and student performance in 90 predominantly low-performing schools across the eastern United States.
The International Charter School (ICS) of Pawtucket, RI contracted with The Education Alliance to help the school's governors determine the feasibility of offering middle school instruction and to answer some questions related to the existing program.
The goal of this descriptive research project was to help education leaders in the Northeast at state, intermediary, district, and school levels to work together to implement evidence-based strategies that build district and school capacity, sustain high standards, and improve student achievement in low performing schools.
American Education Solutions and The Education Alliance have partnered to conduct evaluations of the quality and effectiveness of federally funded Magnet School Assistance Programs (MSAP) for over eight years. Evaluations conducted through this partnership target educational opportunities designed to benefit 45,000 minority students in multiple diverse school districts from New York to Florida.
The purpose of this project was to conduct Maine’s State CSRD Evaluation. The evaluation design involved site visits over three years to all CSRD grantee schools and intensive consultation with Maine state department of education officials involved with state implementation and support for the CSRD program.
The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) has an obligation to report to the public regarding the state of educational improvement in public high schools. The Education Alliance has an interest in gathering important information about how high schools in the region are changing their pedagogy to allow all students to achieve to high standards.
The New England Comprehensive Center (NECC) is one of 16 regional comprehensive centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education to support state education agencies in fulfilling the promises of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Headquartered at RMC Research Corporation of Portsmouth, NH, NECC is a partnership that has included the Alliance (2005-2010), Education Development Center, and Learning Innovations at WestEd.
Web site: http://necomprehensivecenter.org
The New York Comprehensive Center (NYCC) is one of 16 regional comprehensive centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education to support state education agencies in fulfilling the promises of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Headquartered in New York City under the leadership of RMC Research, NYCC is a partnership that has included the Alliance (2005-2010), Education Development Center, Learning Innovations at WestEd, and the United Federation of Teachers' Teacher Center. The mission of the NYCC is to develop the capacity of the New York State Education Department and its networks and agencies to assist districts and schools in improving achievement outcomes for all students.
Web site: http://nycomprehensivecenter.org
The Education Alliance served from 1995-2005 as the Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory, under contract to the U.S. Department of Education. Many of the projects and publications available through this web site had their origins in work done under the two consecutive cycles of this contract.
"Student-centered learning" describes a style of teaching and learning where the environment, curriculum, and instruction focus primarily on helping students achieve success. Understanding how to build and sustain student-centered learning environments at the high school level is crucial to the long-term goal of improving high schools. The purpose of the Personalized Learning Project was to capture and disseminate procedural knowledge about how schools can become student-centered, and to articulate the process required to create and sustain personalized learning as the guiding norm of high schools.
With funding from the Carnegie Foundation to the Providence School District, The Education Alliance has worked with the Providence district administration to assist district high schools in redesigning into small learning communities. An Education Alliance facilitator/coach worked with administrators and teacher based teams at each school on developing plans for the redesign of each school into smaller learning communities (SLC).
With funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Education Alliance worked with the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) to enhance the statewide assessment system with a process for high school students to demonstrate proficiently what they know and can do. It seeks to ensure that every student leaving RI public schools be prepared for college and work.
The Education Alliance has provided technical assistance in implementing the recommendations of the Breaking Ranks process to transform high schools. Through site-based coaches, this project has provided professional development to staff of high-poverty, low-performing secondary schools. The aim has been to support schools in changing their structures, cultures, and instructional content to increase student academic achievement, attendance, and high school graduation rates.
The Pemberton Township High School (Pemberton, NJ), Newton North and South High Schools (Newton, MA), Peabody Veterans Memorial High School (Peabody, MA), Uniondale High School (Uniondale, NY) and the Clear Creek Independent School District (League City, TX) contracted individually with The Education Alliance to conduct external program evaluations of the impact and implementations of their Smaller Learning Communities initiatives (SLC), funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
The Education Alliance, with the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory and the Smaller Learning Communities (SLC) program of the U. S. Department of Education, works to implement small school strategies in large high schools and within school districts. This is part of a federal initiative focused on personalizing high schools.
This study systematically investigated the process and effects of high school restructuring in low-performing high schools that are implementing three central elements of systemic reform: high standards for all students, smaller and more personalized learning environments, and effective use of data to support continuous improvement.
The Education Alliance develops and identifies research-based practices at both the classroom and systemic level that promote high achievement for linguistically and culturally diverse students. We assist in preparing high-quality teachers who are responsive to the needs of English Language Learners (ELLs) in order to achieve No Child Left Behind's goal of having ELLs meet the same challenging standards required of all students, These research reviews were created as one component of our national leadership focus as the Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory (2000-2005).
The "Teaching Diverse Learners" Web site is a resource for teachers working with culturally diverse populations, especially English language learners (ELLs). Sections on teaching and learning strategies, assessment, policy, families and communities, and grant opportunities provide information and guidelines for advancing the education of all students. This site was developed as one component of our national leadership focus as the Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory (2000-2005).
Web site: /tdl
The Holyoke Public School District (Holyoke, MA) contracted with The Education Alliance to conduct an evaluation of the Transient Opportunity Program, focusing on its first year of operation dedicated to providing services for highly mobile middle school students.
Voices from the Field was an online periodical produced from the Fall of 1999 through the Spring of 2002. The purpose of this free publication was to present issues from the perspectives of teachers experiencing change, challenges, and growth as education reform took shape. It was fully written and edited by public school teachers in the region.
Web site: /pubs/voices