The National Coalition for Equality in Learning is anchored securely in seven varied cities across the United States, including Apple Valley, MN; Boulder, CO; Montgomery, AL; Plymouth Meeting, PA; San Francisco, CA; Spring, TX; and Victoria, TX. Also, New Orleans, LA, is an affiliate member. These eight "Learning Communities" and about 80 demographically different elementary and secondary schools form a national laboratory for important experiments in school improvement. The schools were selected because of their strong desire to help all students learn well and because of their diversity. They are representative of the stubborn economic realities and serious social challenges that confront American public education. Because the National Coalition is a microcosm of pressing problems and slim resources that characterize American education, the progress that is made in these schools may help others to better understand the conditions for effective learning that need to be created so that all children of all families receive a quality education on equal terms.
The significance of our growing success is that we have been able to come so far over the past five years in realizing our promise as a grass-roots effort for improving student learning, while still maintaining a sense of urgency. Specifically, the National Coalition is finding that it is possible to rekindle the desire of educators to reach and teach all students; even those who for various reasons do not fit and are underachieving or failing. It is possible to renew leadership and strengthen problem solving in local settings so that unsuccessful youngsters are helped to return to productive learning. This is an important finding of our work.
Six major objectives give direction to our work.
The National Coalition is directed by Dr.
Robert L. Sinclair and located in the School
of Education at the University of Massachusetts,
Amherst. The generous funding for this important work comes from the
Danforth Foundation and Camile Cosby.