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Opportunity for You, Me, and Tennessee
Links of Interest

Policy Organizations Links

Educational Policy
Mission: To expand educational opportunity for low-income and other historically-underrepresented students through high-level research and analysis. By providing educational leaders and policymakers with the information required to make prudent programmatic and policy decisions, we believe that the doors of opportunity can be further opened for all students, resulting in an increase in the number of students prepared for, enrolled in, and completing postsecondary education.

The Wallace Foundation
Mission: Our mission is to enable institutions to expand learning and enrichment opportunities for all people. We do this by supporting and sharing effective ideas and practices. To achieve our mission, we have three objectives: strengthen education leadership to improve student achievement, improve after-school learning opportunities, and build appreciation and demand for the arts.

Postsecondary Education
Mission: This research letter is founded on two fundamental beliefs. First, sound public social policy requires accurate, current, independent, and focused information on the human condition. Second, education is essential to the development of human potential and resources for both private and public benefit. Therefore, the purpose of this research letter is to inform those who formulate, fund, and administer public policy and programs about the condition of and influences that affect postsecondary education opportunity for all Americans.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation
Mission: Our education investments have two primary aims: to support initiatives that give more low-income parents the opportunity to send their children to high quality schools that produce strong results, and to help families get needed services and support through stronger connections between schools and communities.

National Education Association
Mission: Our mission is to advocate for education professionals and to unite our members and the nation to fulfill the promise of public education to prepare every student to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world.

Education Consumers Foundation
Mission: Our core mission is to be a trustworthy source of education research and policy analysis for education’s consumers. We have a proven record of commitment to the interests of consumers. We are watchdogs that bark.  Whether you are a parent who is trying to understand the style of teaching used in your child’s classroom or a legislator who is looking for a fair-minded assessment of a proposed remedial education program, we can point you to useful, consumer-friendly information. If your question can better be answered by experts outside our Network, we will help you find a resource that is sympathetic to your interests.

Educational Needs Index
Mission: The Education Needs Index (ENI) is a county-level study of educational, economic, and population pressures that influence educational policy and planning at local, regional, and state levels. The index introduces an econometric model that assesses conditions and trends for all 3,140 U.S. counties or their equivalents and allows peer comparisons across a variety of indicators. The ENI offers a fresh opportunity and innovative approach to better understand the existing data and public policy challenges that face all states and their respective counties.

The Education Trust
Mission: The Education Trust works for the high academic achievement of all students at all levels, pre-kindergarten through college, and forever closing the achievement gaps that separate low-income students and students of color from other youth. Our basic tenet is this — All children will learn at high levels when they are taught to high levels.

RAND Corporation
Mission: RAND researchers have policy and hands-on experience in education and training. Research includes K-12 assessment and accountability, school reform, teachers and teaching, higher education, military education and training, worker training, and substance-abuse prevention in schools.

The National Center for Educational Accountability
Mission: The National Center for Educational Accountability (NCEA) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization and the national sponsor of Just for the Kids (JFTK). Our goal is to support efforts to reach excellence in education - to raise academic expectations and to promote the practices that will help more students reach college/career readiness.
We have been working over the last decade to build a continuous cycle for improvement based on an honest and diligent focus on student performance (Inform), the careful examination of effective practices of proven high-performers (Inspire), and using what is learned to support targeted improvement planning and implementation (Improve).

Education Week
Mission: Our primary mission is to help raise the level of awareness and understanding among professionals and the public of important issues in American education. We cover local, state, and national news and issues from preschool through the 12th grade.

Over the past decade, states have led the national movement to raise standards, improve teaching and learning, and hold schools more accountable.  Standards are in place in every state, but far too many young people leave our schools today without the skills they need to compete in college or the workplace.  Achieve’s goal is to help every state close the expectations gap so that all students graduate ready for success.

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Literacy Links

National Institute for Literacy
Mission: The National Institute for Literacy, a federal agency, provides leadership on literacy issues, including the improvement of reading instruction for children, youth, and adults. In consultation with the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services, the Institute serves as a national resource on current, comprehensive literacy research, practice, and policy.

The National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance
Mission: The main goal of the NCBLA is to make issues related to young people’s literacy, literature, and libraries an ongoing priority on our national agenda. The NCBLA acts as a freelance nonpartisan advocate creating and developing special projects and events that promote literacy, literature, and libraries and educate the public about practical literacy solutions.

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Arts & Entertainment Links

Americans for the Arts
Mission: Americans for the Arts is the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. With 45 years of service, we are dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. With offices in Washington, DC and New York, and more than 5,000 organizational and individual members and stakeholders across the country, we are focused on three primary goals: foster an environment in which the arts can thrive and contribute to the creation of more livable communities, generate more public- and private-sector resources for the arts and arts education, and build individual appreciation of the value of the arts.

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Higher Education Links

The College Board
Mission: The College Board is a not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the association is composed of more than 5,200 schools, colleges, universities, and other educational organizations. Each year, the College Board serves seven million students and their parents, 23,000 high schools, and 3,500 colleges through major programs and services in college admissions, guidance, assessment, financial aid, enrollment, and teaching and learning. Among its best-known programs are the SAT®, the PSAT/NMSQT®, and the Advanced Placement Program® (AP®). The College Board is committed to the principles of excellence and equity, and that commitment is embodied in all of its programs, services, activities, and concerns.

Inside Higher Ed
Mission: Welcome to Inside Higher Ed, the online source for news, opinion and jobs for all of higher education. Whether you’re an adjunct or a vice president, a grad student or an eminence grise, we’ve got what you need to thrive in your job or find a better one: breaking news and feature stories, provocative daily commentary, areas for comment on every article, practical career columns, and a powerful suite of tools to help higher education professionals get jobs and colleges identify and hire employees. Inside Higher Ed was founded in 2004 by three executives with decades of expertise in higher education journalism and recruitment. We believed that higher education was evolving quickly and radically, and that the time was right for new models of providing information and career services for professionals in academe.

The National Information Center for Higher Education Policymaking and Analysis
Mission: The mission of the National Information Center for Higher Education Policymaking and Analysis is to provide state policymakers and analysts timely and accurate data and information that are useful in making sound higher education policy decisions. Through the work of a small staff and the operation of a website, the Information Center will be the only comprehensive "one-stop-shop" for state-level higher education data and information, and a leader in coordinating activities and securing funds for the collection of missing data and information that are crucial for higher education policy analysis.

The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education
Mission: The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education promotes public policies that enhance Americans' opportunities to pursue and achieve high-quality education and training beyond high school. As an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, the National Center prepares action-oriented analyses of pressing policy issues facing the states and the nation regarding opportunity and achievement in higher education-including two- and four-year, public and private, for-profit and nonprofit institutions. The National Center communicates performance results and key findings to the public, to civic, business and higher education leaders, and to state and federal leaders who are poised to improve higher education policy.

Measuring Up: The National Report Card on Higher Education
Mission: Measuring Up 2006 consists of the national report card for higher education and fifty state report cards. Its purpose is to provide the public and policymakers with information to assess and improve postsecondary education in each state. Measuring Up 2006 is the fourth in a series of biennial report cards.

The National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges
Mission: NASULGC is dedicated to excellence in learning, discovery and engagement. The association’s overriding mission is to support high-quality public higher education and its member institutions as they perform their teaching, research, and public service roles. NASULGC provides a forum for the discussion and development of policies affecting higher education and the public interest. NASULGC’s agenda includes projects in the areas of accountability (including a Voluntary System of Accountability or VSA); global competitiveness (including the education of science and math teachers); internationalization of university campuses (including establishing a national study abroad program); reauthorization of the Farm Bill (including NASULGC’s CREATE-21 proposal); and much more.

The University of Tennessee System
Mission: The University of Tennessee is at the center of Tennessee's future and is uniquely positioned to improve the lives of Tennessee's citizens every day. Through our statewide network, UT is the leading provider of education, research, and economic development, and our impact drives the state's economic, intellectual, social, and cultural advancements.

Tennessee Higher Education Commission
Mission: The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) was created in 1967 by the Tennessee General Assembly (TCA 49-7-202) for the purpose of coordinating and supporting the efforts of post-secondary institutions in the State of Tennessee. One of its statutory requirements is to create a master plan for the development of public higher education in Tennessee. The mission for Tennessee's twenty-first century system of higher education is to: elevate the overall educational attainment of citizens in the State through increased accessibility to mission-focused institutions, which deliver educational services on campus, as well as through a planned network of off-campus instruction, and prepare citizens responsibly for success in the new century by providing high quality teaching and research in an environment that serves the needs of its consumers.

Tennessee Board of Regents
Mission: The board is responsible for assuring lay and public direction in postsecondary education. The purpose of the board is to govern and manage the system. It is empowered to employ the system chancellor and define his or her duties; select and employ presidents of the institutions; confer tenure and approve promotions in rank of system faculty; prescribe curricula and requirements for diplomas and degrees; approve the operating and capital budgets of each institution and otherwise set policies for their fiscal affairs; establish policies and regulations regarding the campus life of the institutions; and assume general responsibility for the operations of the institutions while delegating specifically to the presidents such powers and duties as are necessary and appropriate for the efficient administration of their respective institutions and programs.

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State Government Links

Tennessee Department of Education
Mission: Welcome to the Tennessee Department of Education. A quality education is the fundamental right of every child in Tennessee. The department provides many services, and it is our responsibility to ensure equal, safe, and quality learning opportunities for all students, pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Therefore, our mission is to help teachers teach and children learn.

Tennessee State Board of Education
Mission: The State Board of Education is the governing and policy making body for the Tennessee system of public elementary and secondary education. Its work touches all facets of education from accountability and evaluation to curriculum and teacher education.

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National Government Links

U.S. Department of Education
Mission: ED was created in 1980 by combining offices from several federal agencies. ED's mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access. ED's 4,500 employees and $71.5 billion budget are dedicated to establishing policies on federal financial aid for education, and distributing as well as monitoring those funds, collecting data on America's schools and disseminating research, focusing national attention on key educational issues, prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal access to education.

The Institute of Education Sciences
Mission: The Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 established the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) within the U.S. Department of Education. IES brings rigorous and relevant research, evaluation and statistics to our nation's education system.

The National Center for Education Research
Mission: The National Center for Education Research (NCER) supports rigorous research that addresses the nation’s most pressing education needs, from early childhood to adult education.

The National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance
Mission: The National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE) conducts unbiased large-scale evaluations of education programs and practices supported by federal funds, such as Reading First and Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

The National Center for Special Education Research
Mission: The National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) sponsors a comprehensive program of special education research designed to expand the knowledge and understanding of infants, toddlers and children with disabilities.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the only nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas. Assessments are conducted periodically in mathematics, reading, science, writing, the arts, civics, economics, geography, and U.S. history. For the most recent results of assessments, visit the Nation's Report Card website.

The National Center for Education Statistics
Mission: The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences, is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education.

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Benefit-Cost Links

Center for Benefit-Cost Studies of Education at Teachers College, Columbia University
Mission: The Center for Benefit-Cost Studies of Education (CBCSE) conducts research on the benefits and costs of alternative educational policies and interventions. Education is a social investment that entails both costs and outcomes. Too often assessments of educational alternatives either ignore their costs or calculate them in inappropriate ways.  Similarly, benefits of education are often viewed too narrowly or measured inappropriately. The CBCSE brings together scholarship on both benefits and costs so that the full value of investments in education can be evaluated, and the most productive use of resources can be chosen. The Center also undertakes cost-effectiveness studies to ascertain the types of educational interventions that will produce educational outcomes at least cost.

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Early Childhood Education Links

National Institute for Early Education Research
Mission: The National Institute for Early Education Research supports early childhood education initiatives by providing objective, nonpartisan information based on research. The goal of NIEER is to produce and communicate the knowledge base required to ensure that every American child can receive a good education at ages three and four. The Institute seeks to provide policy makers with timely information addressing the practical problems they face. The Institute offers independent research-based advice and technical assistance to four primary groups: policy makers, journalists, researchers, and educators.

Pre-K Now
Mission: To collaborate with advocates and policymakers to lead a movement for high-quality, voluntary pre-kindergarten for all three and four year olds. The goal of Pre-K Now is to advance high-quality pre-kindergarten programs for all children. We pursue this goal by providing financial and technical assistance to advocates and other leaders in targeted states to create and fund new public pre-kindergarten programs or to improve the quality of and access to existing programs, strengthening the capacity and skills of early childhood advocates and state leaders to secure policy changes and funding, and waging a targeted campaign to educate and mobilize key sectors of the public and policymakers at the state and national level about the severity of the American school readiness problem and the potential that high-quality pre-kindergarten for all has for addressing the problem and boosting K-12 student achievement for all children.

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Economic Development Links

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Mission: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is working to ensure that businesses have access—today and tomorrow—to an educated and skilled workforce.

Committee for Economic Development.
Mission: Throughout its 65-year history, the Committee for Economic Development has addressed national priorities that promote sustained economic growth and development to benefit all Americans. These activities have quite literally helped shape the future on issues ranging from the Marshall Plan in the late 1940s, to education reform in the past two decades, and campaign finance reform since 2000. CED's Trustees not only determine what those priorities should be; but also take the time to participate in the subcommittees which produce the policy statements containing CED's findings and recommendations.

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Workforce & Employment Links

National Association of Colleges and Employers
Mission: To facilitate the employment of the college educated. Established in 1956, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) is the leading source of information on the employment of the college educated. The professional association connects more than 5,200 college career services professionals at nearly 2,000 college and universities nationwide, and more than 3,000 HR/staffing professionals focused on college relations and recruiting.

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Educational Testing Links

Mission: ACT is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides more than a hundred assessment, research, information, and program management services in the broad areas of education and workforce development. Each year, we serve millions of people in elementary and secondary schools, colleges, professional associations, businesses, and government agencies, nationally and internationally. ACT has offices across the United States and throughout the world.

Educational Testing Service
Mission: To advance quality and equity in education by providing fair and valid assessments, research, and related services. Our products and services measure knowledge and skills, promote learning and educational performance, and support education and professional development for all people worldwide.

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International Links

International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement
Mission: The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) is an independent, international cooperative of national research institutions and governmental research agencies. Through its comparative research and assessment projects, IEA aims to provide international benchmarks that may assist policy-makers in identifying the comparative strength and weaknesses of their educational systems, provide high-quality data that will increase policy-makers’ understanding of key school- and non-school-based factors that influence teaching and learning provide high-quality data which will serve as a resource for identifying areas of concern and action, and for preparing and evaluating educational reforms develop and improve educational systems’ capacity to engage in national strategies for educational monitoring and improvement, and contribute to development of the world-wide community of researchers in educational evaluation.

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Teaching Links

The Teacher Center
Mission: The SREB-State Teacher Center is a student services portal connecting educational agencies and colleges and universities in the 16 SREB states. SREB understands the challenges current and future educators face in obtaining and maintaining your teaching credentials while balancing work, family and life's other responsibilities. We have assembled resources to help meet your unique needs in the Teacher Center.

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 Tennessee Links

Knoxville Chamber
Mission: The formal mission of the Chamber is: Driving Regional Economic Prosperity.

What To Do For Schools
Mission: This document lists programs and organizations that provide opportunities to support education and workforce development initiatives in Knox County. This list will grow and change as more and more volunteers take part in our schools, and we encourage recommendations and suggestions about how this list should adapt over time.

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This is flash animation that rotates the Education Crossroads quick facts located on the back cover of the book.