About the BELE Network

The Building Equitable Learning Environments (BELE) Network is a diverse group of nonprofit organizations working to advance equity in education by creating equitable learning environments.

Mission

In the United States, our educational systems were designed to ensure access for some and deny access for others. As a result, race and class remain the most reliable predictors of students’ academic achievement. The BELE Network is working to dismantle structural inequality in schools and create equitable learning environments where all students – regardless of race or class – have the agency, opportunities and tools they need to thrive.

The BELE Network is working to expand high-quality learning opportunities for students who have been historically underserved. Recognizing the complexity of creating learning practices that are responsive to all cultures, our diverse members are taking a range of approaches to create learning environments that meet all students’ needs.

Leadership

The BELE Network is connecting leaders, thinkers and innovators in research, practice and philanthropy to create model learning environments that will transform the experiences and outcomes of historically marginalized students.

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Members Organizations

Our members are working together to implement high-quality teaching practices that are culturally-responsive and support all students’ needs.

The Teaching Excellence Network (TEN) is a survey platform and feedback tool for teachers that aligns the voices of educators, students and families to build schools that are responsive to their communities, which has historical blind spots for many systems and schools serving communities of color.

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Building Assets Reducing Risks (BARR) provides whole school support to assist students in the transition to high school in order to reduce chronic course failure rates for 9th graders.

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EL Education works in communities across the country to ensure that all students master rigorous content, develop positive character, and produce high-quality work. EL Education provides whole school support to a network of schools and recently created a widely available curriculum and accompanying professional development services.

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Equal Opportunity Schools provides intensive, focused management consulting to more than 100 school districts across more than twenty states to ensure that all students have the opportunity to succeed in challenging high school courses.

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The Network for College Success (NCS) partners with Chicago public high schools to strengthen the quality of leadership, instruction, and student supports in order to ensure college readiness and success for all students by translating research into practice and supporting high school leaders to organize their schools for improvement.

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OUSD’s Office of Equity exists to improve culture, conditions, and competencies across the district in order to better serve children and families situated furthest from opportunity. OUSD Office of Equity has a six year history of implementing Targeted Universalism strategies providing services to both students and adults in the Oakland schools.

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Summit Basecamp provides teachers and schools across the US with the resources they need to bring personalized learning into the classroom. It allows teachers the opportunity to customize instruction in order to meet students’ individual needs and interests. Students become self directed, active participants that are ready to succeed at college, work and beyond.

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Transcend works with school operators across the district, charter, and independent school sectors. Transcend works with school operators across the district, charter, and independent school sectors by providing and developing R&D capacity that support education leaders to build and replicate breakthrough learning environments.

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Turnaround for Children translates neuroscientific research into strategies for schools with high concentrations of students impacted by adversity, in order to accelerate healthy development and academic achievement.

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Umoja is a school-community partnership model embedded within chronically low performing, high poverty neighborhood high schools. They equip teachers, staff and school leaders with the knowledge, skills, and tools essential to increasing on-track and graduation rates, decreasing disciplinary infractions and increasing college enrollment.

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Learning Partners

Our Learning Partners support Member Organizations with diverse expertise in the areas of science of learning and development, equity leadership, continuous improvement, and large-scale change.

The Billions Institute helps foundation and non-profit leaders exponentially expand their impact. Their Model for Unleashing is a method to the madness for designing and executing large-scale change in the social sector. The Billions Institute trains leaders to adapt and apply their Model for Unleashing through their thrice annual Skid Row School and their Fellowship for Leading Large-Scale Change. Sometimes The Billions Institute works directly with a foundation or a non-profit to integrate the Model for Unleashing more deeply, as is the case with the BELE Network. For this network, we are delighted to collaborate with Improvement Advisors from SHIFT Consulting who bring deep expertise in network design and execution as well as skills in improvement science capability building.

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The National Equity Project is a leadership and organizational development group committed to increasing the capacity of people to achieve thriving, self-determining, educated, and just communities. NEP’s mission is to transform the experiences, outcomes, and life options of children and families who have been historically underserved by our institutions and systems. They work with leaders to build leadership for equity competencies and create the conditions needed for excellence and equity in districts, schools, classrooms, nonprofits, and communities. They offer deep, authentic, and supportive partnership, meeting clients where they are through a range of customized coaching and consulting services.

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PERTS is a center at Stanford University that applies learning science research and methods in order to improve educational equity on a large scale. To do this, they (1) translate research findings into actionable recommendations that can be widely implemented by organizations that serve historically underserved students; (2) develop cost-effective measurement systems that enable educators, researchers, and policy makers to learn what practices reliably improve equity; and (3) promote the use of research-based resources through partnerships with schools, colleges, and other organizations that can positively influence students’ learning experiences on a large scale.

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Shift-Results partners with organizations to design and run improvement networks that increase access, quality and equity of education, healthcare and social services.  They provide customized support to organizations to build and manage network structures that unite researchers, practitioners, clients and communities to work toward a common purpose.  To build these network structures, Shift-Results 1) helps communities to leverage their capacity and collective intelligence, 2) uses design approaches that help teams to discover the needs of their stakeholders and engage them in leading change, and 3) builds improvement team capacity to innovate and adapt successful strategies to their local context. Through this close collaboration and coaching in improvement science and network management, Shift-Results builds the organizational capacity of their partners over time to design and run networks independently.

The Raikes Foundation mission is to empower young people to transform their lives. In their education portfolio, Raikes is working to ensure that many more students of color and those living in poverty achieve academically. They work with partners across research, policy and practice to leverage the science of learning and development to redesign education systems to advance equity.

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The University of Chicago Consortium on School Research (Consortium) has been engaged in a 25-year-old Research-Practice Partnership with the Chicago Public Schools focused on building capacity for school reform by identifying what matters for student success and school improvement, creating critical indicators to chart progress, and conducting theory-driven evaluation to identify how programs and policies are working. Since 2011, the Consortium has been engaged in research on the role and measurement of non-cognitive factors in school settings. Recently, the Consortium produced a developmental framework (Foundations for Young Adult Success, 2015) that consolidates research highlighting the importance of action and reflection experiences in building young people’s learning and development and preparing them to succeed across a wide variety of domains.

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