LOS ANGELES, Jan. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- What happens when a high-impact education nonprofit partners with a homegrown team of classroom instruction experts with an impeccable track record for improving academic performance? The number of students across California who are considered "high performing" grows, allowing more students to be competitive for college admissions and career placement.
That's the goal behind the new partnership between THINK Together and Principal's Exchange – two highly successful organizations that are joining forces to aggressively tackle the issue of education equity and instructional improvement, particularly in districts with large populations of at-risk students.
"Technical classroom support is critical to student success, but teachers do not always have the support they want or need to effectively implement the many mandates that are being thrust upon them," said Randy Barth, CEO of THINK Together. "That's the root of this new partnership. THINK Together saw in Principal's Exchange an opportunity to deepen our work in classrooms and provide a cohesive approach to supporting districts in their efforts to strengthen classroom instruction and integrate student interventions into core curriculum. The outcomes, as we've seen in schools that Principal's Exchange has supported since 1997, are tangible. Across the board, we see improvements in testing performance, attendance, graduation rates, and admissions into four-year universities. The data is unequivocal. So we felt an obligation to increase that scale from a Southern California impact, to a statewide impact and beyond."
The need for technical classroom support has become even greater as districts grapple with implementation of Common Core State Standards, Smarter Balanced testing and the Local Control Funding Formula – state mandates that will ultimately benefit our students; however, launching the programs has been overwhelming for many school districts.
"As we work side by side with our district administrators and hardworking teachers, we are seeing firsthand how hard schools are working to provide the best possible instructional program for their students," said Dr. Robin Avelar La Salle, CEO of Principal's Exchange. "Given the mountain of professional development and new practices that are being implemented at each school site, there really is a need for outside technical assistance to provide some relief from the overwhelming list of mandates that are filtering down to each and every classroom.
"What Principal's Exchange focuses on is the true essence of what it is to be a strong instructional leader – moving students to think creatively and independently, while also encouraging group dynamics that are critical to real-world employment skills," said Avelar La Salle. "No longer are schools focused on just teaching kids to read and do math. We are now teaching them to problem solve, analyze data and evolve into leaders in their own right. As public schools move to this new level, Principal's Exchange, now in partnership with THINK Together, is the support system for teachers and administrators to fine tune their instructional models and deliver a 21st century workforce."
About THINK Together
THINK Together is a nonprofit organization collaborating with communities, parents and other stakeholders to transform and galvanize the K-12 educational system, creating excellence and equity for all kids. THINK Together has grown into the state's largest provider of Extended Learning Time programs (early literacy, after-school, summer learning, etc.), currently serving more than 100,000 students at more than 400 locations across 38 school districts from Silicon Valley to San Bernardino. Partnering with school administrators and teachers, its academic programs and dedicated team of nearly 3,000 employees are helping students statewide reach their full potential. THINK is an acronym: Teaching, Helping, Inspiring & Nurturing Kids. For more information, call (888) 485-THINK or visit www.THINKtogether.org
About Principal's Exchange
PRINCIPAL's Exchange provides customized solutions for schools and school districts to support educational equity and excellence. Using its "Response to Intervention for Systems" (RtI4S) methodology, a research-validated school and district-strengthening model, PRINCIPAL's Exchange provides technical assistance, professional development and coaching for teachers and administrators, and develops software tools to enable the use of data to drive student performance. Some of the top performing and most improved low-income schools and districts in California partner with PRINCIPAL's Exchange. The organization was founded in 1999 and became a Benefit Corporation (B Corp) affiliated with THINK Together in 2015. For more information, visit www.principals-exchange.org
What people are saying about the THINK Together and Principal's Exchange partnership ...
"The visionary work of THINK Together has taken a giant leap forward through its new venture with Principal's Exchange. The opportunity to leverage both organizations' experience and accomplishments in closing the achievement gap for our most vulnerable students has the potential for game-changing impact on K-12 public education. We are thrilled to support this innovative approach to unlocking the potential of students throughout California, and beyond."
- Shelley Hoss, President, Orange County Community Foundation
"Principal's Exchange has helped enhance the instructional model in Lynwood Unified by working with staff to harness our teachers' expertise and passion for students and creating clarity in teaching techniques. As a result of Principal's Exchange's technical expertise and our teachers' hard work, LUSD has seen some of the largest API gains in the state for districts our size."
- Paul Gothold, Superintendent, Lynwood Unified School District
"Principals Exchange is the most exciting agent for change that I have come across in the American education system. No other organization has shown an ability to work with an existing school or district – including its students, teachers and administrative staff – and help them drive dramatic change. This partnership is exactly the type of collaboration that will reap success."
- Sangeeth Peruri, Trustee, Los Altos School District, Education Philanthropist
"Principal's Exchange works as a partner with teachers and administrators, providing technical assistance, coaching and professional development that help build capacity to serve all students. These experts make it possible for everybody to take their performance to new heights and, importantly, they do this without trying to change the teachers, students or parents. Instead, they help schools improve themselves by becoming learning organizations."
- Adam Pisoni, Co-founder, Yammer, Education Philanthropist
"The THINK Together and Principal's Exchange partnership holds a powerful promise. This collaboration is highly attractive to philanthropic investors and has generated overwhelming support from their respective board members and constituents. This is an exciting opportunity for educators so that many more children can achieve their dreams."
- Eric Boden, CEO (Retired), Hire Right, Board Chairman, THINK Together, Education Philanthropist
SOURCE THINK Together