Educational Institutions

A PLUS EDUCATION PARTNERSHIP

Great schools for every child

Montgomery, AL   |  www.aplusala.org

Mission

A+ Education Partnership drives improvements in public education for every Alabama student. We set and deliver high expectations by advocating for policies, practices, and investments that advance learning, and by partnering with schools to build the capacity of teachers and leaders.

Ruling year info

1992

President

Mr. Mark E Dixon

Main address

P O Box 4433

Montgomery, AL 36103 USA

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EIN

63-1050676

Cause area (NTEE code) info

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The overarching objectives of A+ Education Partnership and the work of our two programs, the Alabama Best Practices Center and A+ College Ready, are to advocate for and implement the best public education policies, programs, practices, and investments that ensure ALL Alabama students have the opportunity to graduate college and/or workforce ready, to close achievement gaps, and to lift the performance of every student.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

A+ Education Partnership

A+ Education Partnership is a non-partisan organization working to ensure every Alabama student has the opportunity to graduate prepared for college, career, and life; to close achievement gaps; and to lift the performance of every student. We serve as a trusted voice in Montgomery and beyond as the only statewide organization representing what is best for students. We stand in the gap – advocating for investments that best support public school children from pre-k through high school. But the work doesn’t stop there; we also work on the ground in schools because that is where real change happens. Good policy can move the education system in the right direction, but it cannot ensure the quality of day-to-day teaching. That requires professional development of both administrators and teachers. As such, A+ operates two direct-service programs that provide cutting-edge professional learning, advance policy implementation in schools, and inform future policy work to drive continuous improvement. This two-pronged approach sets us apart from other organizations. Our two programs are A+ College Ready, which works with middle and high schools to increase access and success in AP courses, and the Alabama Best Practices Center, provides superintendents, principals, and teachers with networking opportunities and cutting-edge professional development opportunities.

Population(s) Served
K-12 (5-19 years)
Budget
$792,306

Where we work

Charting impact

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

The overarching objectives of A+ Education Partnership and the work of our two programs, the Alabama Best Practices Center and A+ College Ready, are to advocate for and implement the best public education policies, programs, practices, and investments that ensure ALL Alabama students have the opportunity to graduate college and/or workforce ready, to close achievement gaps, and to lift the performance of every student. Goal I – Advocate for best practices, critical policies and investments in public education in Alabama 1. Advocate for state policies and financial investments in what has been proven to work to improve student performance 2. Provide all students with the supports they need to graduate college and career ready 3. Promote reading and math comprehension on grade level for all children 4. Increase children’s school readiness 5. Encourage classroom innovation through traditional and charter schools 6. Expand Computer Science education across Alabama Goal II – Collaborate with school systems, schools, and educators across the state of Alabama to increase their effectiveness 1. Increase reach and the impact of our Alabama Best Practices Center to work with more superintendents, principals, and teachers across the state 2. Increase impact of A+CR, increasing access to and success in Advanced Placement courses in by working with more middle schools and high schools 3. Provide Computer Science education training to teachers of every grade across the state 4. Ensure all education policies are implemented to fidelity

A+ uses a two-pronged approach to improve student outcomes in Alabama public schools. With one foot in the statehouse, we work with elected and appointed officials in the Legislature, the State Department of Education, and the State Board of Education to promote research-based policies, serving as a trusted voice in Montgomery and beyond as the only statewide organization representing what is best for students. We stand in the gap – advocating for investments that best support public school children from pre-k through high school. But the work doesn’t stop there; we also have one foot in the schoolhouse, working on the ground in schools because that is where real change happens. We know that while good policy can move the education system in the right direction, policy alone cannot ensure the quality of day-to-day teaching. That requires professional development of both administrators and teachers. As such, A+ operates two direct-service programs that provide cutting-edge professional learning, advance policy implementation in schools, and inform future policy work to drive continuous improvement. Our A+ College Ready (A+CR) improves access and success of students in Advanced Placement courses, including science, math, English, social studies, and computer science. A+CR works with middle schools and high schools statewide to increase the pipeline of students prepared for AP courses by providing professional development and support for AP teachers, equipment and materials, and incentives for students and educators. AP participation and success align with the mission of A+ in that they are proven indicators of college- and career-readiness, as they develop critical thinking skills in students. Prior to our program, AP was valued and offered in districts with college-educated parents, but not available to all students across the state. A+ has “opened the AP doors” to identify underrepresented students, those overlooked by teachers, or who do not have parents at home urging them to stretch themselves academically. Our Alabama Best Practices Center (ABPC), increases the capacity of educators by connecting and equipping them with proven resources and best practices while inspiring and encouraging them to challenge themselves and their students to reach a higher bar. ABPC manages networks of educators, principals, and superintendents across the state to provide cutting-edge professional development and connect them to one another to share ideas and solutions to issues. This two-pronged approach sets us apart from other organizations in our state. It also provides us with the highest potential for success without duplication of efforts by other agencies.

Because of the trusted relationships we have created over the past 29 years in Montgomery and beyond, A+ is uniquely qualified to meet our goals. We serve as a trusted adviser and critical friend to elected and appointed officials at the Alabama Legislature, Alabama State Department of Education, the Alabama Board of Education, and elsewhere. As such, we are able to leverages every $1 received from corporations, foundations, and individual donors to secure $10.50 from government grants and contracts. Our 29-year history of making an impact on public education by partnering to create policy changes and providing the quality professional development necessary to implement those changes has resulted in many long-term relationships in the public and private sector. This is what has sustained our work to date and will continue to do so in the future. Additionally, our two programs, ABPC and A+CR learn first-hand from the teachers, principals, and superintendents with whom they work what additional policies changes are needed and are able to provide that feedback to Alabama public officials as they make policy and expenditure decisions.

Unfortunately, policy work requires patience and a long view to see enduring benefits for state and local communities; immediate results are virtually impossible. For example, A+ worked diligently beginning in 2002 to pass and implement the Alabama Reading Iniative. However, it wasn't until 2009-2011 that we saw significant results -- Alabama 4th graders met the national average in reading! As such, measuring success can be problematic as well. At A+ we measure our success by reviewing our goals annually as follows: Goal I – Advocate for best practices, critical policies and investments in public education in Alabama 1. Did any of the state policies and financial investments for which we advocated pass? 2. Were more students provided with the supports they need to graduate college and career ready, according to the Alabama College and Career Readiness standards? 3. Did Alabama students improve in reading and math comprehension? 4. Did we increase children’s school readiness by increasing funding to Alabama's First Class Pre-K program? 5. Have we seen traditional and charter schools try innovative ways to increase student performance? 6. Has Computer Science education expanded across Alabama? Goal II – Collaborate with school systems, schools, and educators across the state of Alabama to increase their effectiveness 1. Did we increase reach and the impact of our Alabama Best Practices Center to work with more superintendents, principals, and teachers across the state? 2. Did we increase impact of A+CR, increasing access to and success in Advanced Placement courses in by working with more middle schools and high schools? 3. Did we provide Computer Science education training to teachers of every grade across the state? 4. Did we strive to ensure all education policies are implemented to fidelity, leading taskforces as requested?

A+ has a rich history of partnering with others to create both policy changes and on-the-ground improvement in education. Examples of past collaborative successes include the development of the Alabama Reading Initiative (ARI). We also helped create the Alabama School Readiness Alliance (ASRA), which promotes expansion of state-funded Pre-K in schools, community day care settings, or churches, while maintaining quality, and Alabama GRIT (Graduate Ready. Impact Tomorrow), a coalition of Alabama parents, educators, business leaders, military personnel, and other civic leaders who protected high academic standards from a 5 year effort to lower Alabama’s math and English standards. We also partnered with others to create the Alabama Coalition for Public Charter Schools, an organization that led the way to pass Alabama’s charter school law, one of the top 5 in quality nationwide, that has led to the creation of six public charter schools in Alabama. In the 2019 legislative session alone, our efforts led to the following improvements: Passed: The Computer Science Education Bill, requiring computer science (CS) courses be taught in all Alabama K-12 public schools by 2023. This legislation makes Alabama a national leader in computer science education and ensures Alabama’s public schools are providing the computer science education students need to enter a changing workforce and fill the 4,000 current CS job openings in Alabama. Passed: The Alabama Literacy Act, which provides resources to teachers in reading instruction and requires proficiency-based promotion from third to fourth grade. This is significant because a student who can't read on grade level by 3rd grade is four times less likely to graduate by age 19 than a child who does read proficiently by that time. Add poverty to the mix, and a student is 13 times less likely to graduate on time than his or her proficient, wealthier peer. By contrast, it has been shown that 96% of 3rd graders who are reading on level will go on to graduate from high school. Passed: $7.1 Billion Education Budget, including 4% pay increase for teachers, $26.8 million increase to expand First Class Pre-K program, $7.5 million for the Alabama Literacy Act, $1 million for the Computer Science Bill, and $750,000 for A+ provide a pilot program to raise rigor and improve outcomes in middle schools. It also covers the cost of AP exam fees for every low income student. We also work the Alabama State Department of Education and the State Board of Education to create changes that will benefit students statewide, such as creating a new summative assessment and the new math course of study. But the work has just begun. A+ will now help with strong implementation of these policies, serving on task forces created to ensure the policies adopted result in improved student achievement for every child across the state of Alabama.

Financials

A PLUS EDUCATION PARTNERSHIP
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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A PLUS EDUCATION PARTNERSHIP

Board of directors
as of 12/31/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Gordon Martin

Alabama Power Company

Term: 2018 - 2021

Gordon Martin

Alabama Power Company

Scott McLain

McLain Commercial Real Estate

Barbara Larson

Larson Consulting

Jim Williams

PARCA, Retired

Dave Borden

Aldridge Borden and Company

William Smith

Royal Cup, Inc.

Carolyn Akers

Mobile Area Education Foundation

J. W. Carpenter

Birmingham Education Foundation

Debbie Long

Protective Life Corporation, Retired

Charles Nash

University of Alabama System

John Turner

Regions Financial Corporation

Tina Watts

Boeing Alabama

Preston Bolt

Hand, Arendall LLC

Damon Bailey

Teach for America Alabama

Janet Kavinokky

Vulcan Materials Co

Jeremiah Newell

Mobile Area Education Fdn

Michael Patterson

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Ala

Will Ratliff

Collateral Holdings

Keywords

advocacy, education, Pre-K-12, professional development, Advanced Placement