Every child deserves a great education. Alliance for Education’s goal is to “ensure every child in Seattle Public Schools is prepared for success in college, career and life.” They maintain that it doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor or what race you are. You deserve the same shot in life as every other child. That comes down to getting a proper education.
Since they were formed in 1995, the Alliance for Education has worked on a three-pronged approach to create successful schools. Their main practices are fundraising, advocacy and community engagement.
Public schools are chronically underfunded. Yet, Alliance for Education has raised over $126 million in cash donations and $5 million in in-kind contributions from individuals, organizations and local employers. All of this money goes to support schools through programs to develop strong leadership, advocate for teacher contract reform, creation of academically rigorous curriculum such as Readers Workshop, and the creation of a student services directory.
As an advocate, Alliance for Education works for thoughtful education reform. Their efforts are local in scope, focusing only on issues facing Seattle Public Schools. They worked with the Our Schools Coalition to reform the teachers’ CBA, or the Collective Bargaining Agreement. They are also a member of Excellent Schools Now, a group of education, businesses and community-based organizations working at the state level to address legislative changes they believe will lead to increased student achievement. Their collective goal is to close the achievement gap and prepare students for future success.
Their third arm of Alliance for Education works toward community engagement. They work with teachers, business leaders, parents, researchers, policy makers, direct service providers and other stakeholders to create a dialogue around the topic of education. Some groups which they work with are the Philanthropic Partnership for Public Education, Our Schools Coalition and Seattle College Access Network (SCAN).
Beyond their primary goals, Alliance also provides school fiscal services, scholarships and awards.
Alliance says, “We are the District’s ‘critical friend,’ pushing and challenging Seattle Public Schools to be the best it can be.”