The Alliance for Diversity & Excellence
Program Initiatives
The Alliance for Diversity & Excellence
Join The Alliance
Background
Extensive research has conclusively shown that teacher and school leader quality is the variable that has the most profound impact on student achievement. Research has also shown low-income children disproportionately experience low-quality teaching, resulting in low-income students performing at lower levels in all core subject areas, particularly in Louisiana. Highly effective schools are one of the key levers for creating high performing, non-selective urban schools.

The presence of African American leaders and advocates in education is declining and is significantly lower than the racial makeup of the children in schools. Education reform in New Orleans is often referred to as one of the brighter spots of the uneven post-Hurricane Katrina recovery in New Orleans. Of the many public systems that were troubled before the storm (including health care, public housing, criminal justice, and education), the changes in public education following the storm have probably received the most attention and the most praise and, in some cases, the most criticism. Since 2005, New Orleans schools have seen considerable gains in student performance across all grade levels. Graduation and ACT rates have increased to promising levels over the last ten years, but our local communities, especially the African American community, is concerned about the charter landscape. The African American community's displeasure largely stems from the firing of 7,500 displaced teachers and school employees in the aftermath of Katrina.

Over the past five years, the Alliance for Diversity & Excellence, a group of African American community leaders from the Greater New Orleans area, has begun to advocate for charter schools and autonomy for all students and parents. Our goals are simple and listed below.

To advocate for autonomy and creativity in our local educational system and to close the achievement gap for students of New Orleans.
Academics
Support
To support and galvanize the local community on issues supporting charter schools.
Education
To educate local community forums and events supporting charter schools.
Professional Development
Provide leaders with professional development experiences to develop their personal experiences and understanding of charter schools.

Goals
Build a diverse coalition of support for charter schools in New Orleans.
Sustain and produce positive outcomes for students and parents of charter schools.
The Alliance of Diversity and Excellence (ADE) will collaborate with local community and school leaders in coaching sessions, educational forums and monthly events to build relationships and develop better understanding regarding charter schools as well as the importance of autonomy and choice.
To accomplish these goals, the ADE will enroll between 23-30 members to serve as ambassadors and for charter schools. A full-time program coordinator, who has a proven track record of leadership success and community building, will facilitate the program, including leading the individual coaching sessions and planning the monthly collaboration events. In addition, external consultants, who are recognized as experts in their given skill or knowledge area, will lead sessions for participants, imparting applicable and real-world information and development.

The program's core framework is organized in this way, so that community leaders will have an understanding of the importance of charter schools and how leaders of color support the charter landscape. Monthly collaboration and weekly coaching sessions will cover a variety of essential topics and traits, including those identified above.
The outline for The Alliance of Diversity and Excellence Program - 2017
Program Description
The Theory of Change
The Steps Towards Change
Ambassadors & ADE Members
educate community about Charter Schools.
Events & Forums
led by leaders of Color working with community members
Professional Development for Community
regarding best practices and school visits
Stronger Communities
schools and advocates for schools
• Identification: At least 25-30 ambassadors will attend monthly meetings regarding advocacy plan.
•Conduct bi-monthly events and seminars supporting charter schools.
•Organize advocacy campaign supporting choice and autonomy.
• Organize community events supporting charter schools.
• Organize community forums discussing the importance of charter schools and autonomy.
• Organize student events rallying for excellence.
Evaluation
Empowering Ambassadors

Improve non-selective urban schools community support

• Organize meetings with charter leaders to discuss community engagement.
• Organize meetings with charter leaders to discuss parental involvement.
• Meet with charter leaders to discuss strategies and skills to increase academic excellence.

Professional Development in the Community
Who will support the charter landscape in New Orleans?
To date, the ADE has established a mission, vision, and theory of action, and has completed the preliminary administrative steps to move the advisory board to a non-profit government structure. As well, InspireNOLA Charter Schools has agreed to serve as a fiduciary agent until said paperwork moves through the appropriate state and federal channels.

While the ADE has designed the framework for an organization, it will need resources to select a leader/contract services to refine organizational structure/staffing; educate ADE ambassadors, hold forum and events, conduct school visits and draft a sustainable business model based on priorities;

The workshop is structured within a studio environment so as to offer participants the opportunity to experiment with different design approaches and share their ideas with colleagues from around the world.

The ADE has identified a program outcomes and budget necessary to accomplish an organizational model.
Contact us:
If you need to get in touch with us, send a note to jrmckneely@yahoo.com or follow us on facebook for more updates and details.
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