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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Education, Educational Services

Mission: To substantiate in the public schools of urban america an irrefutable belief in the capacity of all children to reach the highest levels of learning and thinking demanded by our ever-changing global community. Our focus is teacher and administrator quality through professional development which incorporates current research from cognitive neuroscience on learning, teaching and leading. We partner with school districts to support the building of their capacity to advocate community-wide responsibility for realizing the learning potential of its children.

Programs: Buffalo:the goal of the program in buffalo is to transfporm chronically underperforming schools into learning environments where all students demonstrate high intellectual performances designed to enable them to meet and exceed the requirements of the common core state standards. It is a practical, engaging, research-based program that reduces the persistent achievement gap exhibited in chronically underperforming school. Student potential ans student performance using strength-based approach transforms leadership and teaching through high operational practices that accelerate achievement for all students. It uses a comprehensive framework to turn around underperforming schools that includes developing the instructional leadership and instructional capacity of the district and the individual school. The program consists of an instructional assessment, school site visits, leadership training and student invoices.

robbinsdale:nua continues in the areas of professional development and instructional leadership with high operational practices of the pedagogy of confidence. The partnership goals are to:- build positive relationships between and among students and teachers- amplify student voices- activate sudent strenghts- integrate prerequisites- situate learning in the lives of students- focus on high intellectual performance- provide enrichment

groton:the goal of the partnership is to provide a series of research-based professional development activities for teachers and administrators that are designed to build a common set of understandings regarding learning and teaching, to introduce powerful pedgogy that transforms learning, and to develop a district-wide set of expectations and experiences, a common language of learning and teaching and a shared vision that propels learning. The project consisted of an instructional assessment, ten site vists for the school and a student voice component.

Community Stories

13 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've worked with the National Urban Alliance in three different settings and have found their work to be stellar --- the best I know of in the nation with regard to accelerating the achievement of students in urban settings. Their approach is firmly grounded in a set of values about the unlimited potential of our students, staff, and community and on powerful research about cognitive modifiability and building on assets and strengths to engage all students in high intellectual performance.

Their ability to engage educators, learners, and families together in enacting essential pedagogical practices is unparalleled. They deliver on their promises!

Francisca Sanchez, Associate Superintendent
Hayward Unified School District

2 jacroehl

Client Served

Rating: 5

Edina Public Schools partnership with The National Urban Alliance has greatly impacted teacher pedagogy and student achievement. Edina has been involved in some way with NUA for the past 10 years, and over that time our district has seen the reading racial achiement gap between blacks and whites close by approximately 20 points in large part to the cuturally responsive teaching strategies that staff now use in the classroom. The work of NUA is clearly visible in the schools that have been directly involved with cohorts, and their influence is even being felt in other schools in our district through the works of our staff development to bring strategies to those schools.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience with NUA was wonderful! I have never worked with a more experienced, trained, and talented group of people. The crew I had the pleasure of working with for the past 5 years were great! Augusta, Mammie, and Stephine were good at what they did. My training with them has taught me how to better help my students. I have also traveled and even taught their strategies to my colleagues. We have reinforced the use of the thinking maps and their concepts. Anyone who has the opprotunity to work with them will not regret it! I only wish I could still be a part of that family to help others understand the usage of the program and what it has to offer.

1 Askia D.

Client Served

Rating: 5

For more than two decades the National Urban Alliance has experienced success as a catalyst for the transformation of urban school systems. NUA has been the national leader in helping educators to focus upon the strengths of students, rather than their perceived weaknesses, as the key for raising student achievement.

Long before the current administration's insight that NCLB is wrong-headed in its encouragement of teaching to the test, NUA was demonstrating through professional development proven pedagogical strategies for enhancing the cognitive capacity of students. Teachers and school leaders learned theory and practice regarding using the brain's cognitive processes to improve student achievement without reliance upon the "drill and kill" techniques that accompany an over-reliance upon test preparation.

With the focus on pedagogical strategies that emphasize student strengths, student engagement, culture and motivation, participating schools in cities, such as Seattle, Indianapolis, Albany (NY), Newark, Minneapolis and Bridgeport, demonstrated significant greater growth than similar schools in corresponding cities and states.

NUA has also established a very promising initiative known as Student Voice. The belief is that every student has value and a story to tell. NUA brings teachers and principals together with their students for professional development sessions that examine and improve upon methods for teaching literacy and subject matter. Students are taught to develop lessons and units which are subsequently taught in classes by the students. As a result the entire learning environment is transformed with: students gaining tremendous confidence in their own intellectual capacity; peers becoming more energized and engaged; teachers improving relationships with students; and a greater emphasis on higher level learning throughout the school. The Student Voice initiative has been featured on CNN, NPR and throughout the leading publications of professional organizations.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The National Urban Alliance is in its ninth year of serving as a catalyst and vital partner to a consortium of eight school districts in Minnesota to raise the achievement of all students; to eliminate the racial achievement gap; and to prepare all learners to thrive in a diverse world through regional leadership, integrated learning opportunities, shared resources, and mutual support. NUA staff have helped build the collective capacity of the consortium members to ensure sustainability of the strategies designed to transform the belief systems and pedagogy of school staff members in order to provide culturally responsive instruction for a very diverse urban/suburban population. This long-term systemic approach to transformation includes: ongoing administrator and teacher leadership training, student leadership involvement, formation of cadres of school staff who commit to a two year professional development course which includes workshops, study groups, and on-site job imbedded feedback, week-long summer institute courses, and walk-through assessments with feedback.
As the Local Coordinator, I have observed the phenomenal impact of this initiativel! The work is being sustained through the leadership efforts of local administrators and teachers! Several of our member districts have experienced rising test scores of ALL students and significant gains by students of color toward eliminating the achievement gap. The culture of our schools promote high intellectual performance and a belief in the capacity of ALL children to reach the highest levels of learning and thinking. Participating teachers report that their instruction has changed and that is what has made the difference! Several teachers have commented that working with the National Urban Alliance is the most effective staff development that they have experienced in over thirty years of teaching. I highly recommend the National Urban Alliance as an outstanding non-profit organization.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I served as the liaison between a large urban district in California that contracted with NUA for over two years of professional development. The work that NUA does changes the lives of teachers, the climate of schools, and most importantly changes the lives of young people. The strategies presented by NUA is by far the best compilation of pedagogy that I have seen in my 16 year career. NUA changes the way teachers approach students in the classroom. Teachers continuously state that NUA help them reach students that they have struggled to reach in the past. I can not encourage educators enough to not only embrace the National Urban Alliance but to allow themselves to be embraced by the National Urban Alliance. The pedagogy will make a difference in the classroom.......and yes, in the test scores.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had the great pleasure of a great association with the National Urban Alliance over a period of time in varying roles as a school administrator. I credit the professional development my teachers received from NUA with my school being able to return to making AYP several years ago. My teachers were excited about what they learnd because it helped them provide rigorous and relevant content in their classrooms that the students loved.

Everyone I met with NUA is top notch and there motivation is children and every child's learning options.

Client Served

Rating: 5

While serving as superintendent of St. Louis, the National Urban Alliance partnered with our students, staff and community to improve teaching and learning. Their highly trained staff motivated and challenged our teachers, principals and students to raise expectations for themselves and others. NUA left a lasting positive impact!

Client Served

Rating: 5

NUA was a subcontractor on a multi-million dollar federal grant obtained by the University of Alabama at Birmingham from 2005 to 2010. They provided extensive professional development to 100s of Birmingham City Schools teachers and principals. The grant was obtained under my leadership as dean of the UAB School of Education and I was intimately involved in the details of the grant operations.

The NUA leadership and their consultants showed passion and commitment throughout their work. Their deep understanding of how teachers and principals could change the direction of teaching and learning in urban schools was truly outstanding and the delivery of the professional development they offered matched their understanding.

The consultants as a group had extraordinary capacity to bring teachers specific strategies for allowing students to develop the confidence to move directly to acceleration instead of persisting in remediation, both in attitudes towards school and in direct educational outcomes.

Client Served

Rating: 5


The NUA team and all they have to offer has had a significant impact on our work with students. The NUA has helped us have the tools to effectively support all children grow academically and deepen their connections and engagement with others and school. The NUA helps us understand the process of learning while focusing on students strengths. They have helped us shift from a deficit model to a growth model. In the past 5 years of partnering with the NUA our districts academic scores have continued to rise as we attempt to eliminate achievement gaps. The NUA is one of the primary reasons that we have had ongoing success. The NUA has helped us begin to achieve our goal to ensure the learning for all children.