Kansas Learning First Alliance
The Learning First Alliance was formed in 1997 when twelve leading national organizations came together to form a permanent, self-initiated coalition dedicated to pursuing a common agenda to improve American public education. The vision was to speak with a unified voice that could significantly improve public schooling.
An offer to pilot partnerships with up to five states interested in forming new, or strengthening existing, state alliances came shortly thereafter. Interested states were asked to show that they would:
- Have the commitment and capacity among the state associations and organizations to create a new or strengthen an existing alliance;
- Be open to affiliate representatives of the twelve Learning First Alliance organizations;
- Have goals consistent with the Learning First Alliance agenda and the commitment of the education community to collaborate in achieving those goals; and
- Primarily focus on proactive, collaborative work to improve student achievement, rather than be driven by political or legislative agendas.
As of 2013, the Learning First Alliance is a partnership of 16 national education associations dedicated to improving student learning in America’s public schools and currently has 11 state affiliates.
Kansas was one of the first to step forward.
The Kansas Learning First Alliance is a partnership united behind a clear yet evolving vision on how best to improve public education. It bases its work on the belief that:
- Good working relations among stakeholders in the public education enterprise are essential to improve student learning;
- By working together, education organizations and leaders can address system problems and remove, rather than perpetuate, barriers to improve student learning; and
- Collaboration requires more than conversations, no matter how constructive. It must lead to action, permeate our organizations’ activities, and become an integral element of our daily work.
KLFA’s work has not gone unnoticed. On a regular basis KLFA leaders are asked to share its processes and achievements with other state affiliates. New state alliances have turned to Kansas as a state alliance to emulate. With a new logo, motto, and website, KLFA leaders plan for continued success and action in the future to make a difference for teaching and learning.