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Askia D.

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Review for National Urban Alliance For Effective Education Inc, Syosset, NY, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As a superintendent of schools in Harlem and the Bronx I relied upon the organization to facilitate the professional development of principals and teachers.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would have state commisioners of education reach out to NUA to build professional development relationships in partnership with cities.

Role:  Client Served & I assisted in developing proposals for educational grants to schools to enhance teaching and learning.