About Us

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Since our founding in 1989 at Columbia University’s Teachers College with the College Board, the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education (NUA) has provided professional development, advocacy and organizational guidance that transform urban and suburban schools.

We are passionate in striving toward a world in which barriers to high levels of learning borne of racism, sexism and economic disadvantage are eliminated for all children.

Our approach is guided by the The Pedagogy of Confidence, the fearless expectation and support for the high intellectual performance of all students, especially those who are dependent on the school and community for the skills and support needed to attain high achievement. We uncover strengths of students and teachers and then build on those strengths.

Core Beliefs

We focus on three core beliefs:

  • Intelligence is modifiable;
  • All students benefit from a focus on high intellectual performance;
  • Learning is influenced by the interaction of culture, language and cognition.

NUA has more than 50 education experts who work with teachers, students, school administrators and communities to identify strengths to address the needs and break down barriers that inhibit achievement. We are values-directed and data-driven.

NUA partners with school districts across the country to accelerate and raise student achievement through professional development based on the Pedagogy of Confidence and designed to promote students’ high intellectual performances. Our efforts have resulted in tangible results for the educators and students we serve and we have contributed to the knowledge base of how to transform schools.settings.

NUA partners with school districts to provide ongoing, embedded professional development using research-based instructional strategies that foster higher-level thinking. Each partnership is overseen by an NUA Project Director and district-designated Partnership Coordinator. Professional development services are provided by NUA Mentors on-site in each participating school where the mentor models and teaches best instructional practices, while guiding and coaching teachers with implementing best practices in their classrooms.

The NUA has been a catalyst for positive change in areas such as Albany, New York; Bridgeport, Conn.; Indianapolis; Minneapolis (11 urban and suburban district desegregation initiatives); Newark, New Jersey; New York City; San Francisco; Seattle; Birmingham; Greene County, Georgia; East Allen, Indiana and Prince George’s County, Maryland. Read more about our district sites.

Building Blocks for Improvement

Our work addresses the challenges today’s schools face in ways thatare powerful and replicable. Our process includes:

  • A comprehensive Instructional Assessment
  • A Course of Study to reflect the assessment’s findings and state/district common core standards and goals
  • A school-based Course of Action for professional development
  • Cross–district seminars in the The Pedagogy of Confidence® and high operational practices for high intellectual performances
  • Demonstration lessons in classrooms
  • On-site seminars, planning and peer coaching
  • Leadership training for district and school administrators, coachesand teachers
  • Summer academies and institutes
  • Advocacy to build school, home and community relationships
  • Peer observation of teaching practices.

Contact us to learn more:

The National Urban Alliance for Effective Education
33 Queens Street Suite 100, Syosset, NY 11791
(800) NUA-4556 or (516) 802-4192
Eric Cooper Ed.D., President and Founder

Download our Brochure