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Networks Of Note

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Teacher networks come in all shapes and sizes. Some are national in scope, while others cover only one state or region. Some focus on a specific subject, while others target such topics as diversity, assessment, and bilingual education. The list that follows is not intended to be exhaustive. It suggests the range of options for teachers in search of professional development through a network of peers with similar interests.

Bread Loaf Rural Teachers Network
Founded in 1984
Contact: Dixie Goswami, Coordinator
Bread Loaf Office
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: (802) 388-3711, ext. 5360
E-mail: info@breadnet.middlebury.edu

Purpose: Bread Loaf brings together rural teachers--both in person and through BreadNet, an electronic network--who want to improve students' experiences with literature and writing. It receives grants from Apple Computer Inc. and the DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, among others.

Number of Participants: About 500 teachers have been involved since its founding.

Scope: Six states--Alaska, Arizona, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Carolina, and Vermont--participate.

California Subject-Matter Projects
Founded in 1970
(The state fully authorized the network in 1989.)
Contact: Robert Polkinghorn Jr., Executive Director
University of California
Office of the President
300 Lakeside Drive, 18th Floor
Oakland, CA 94612-3550

Phone: (510) 987-9505
E-mail: robert. polkinghorn@ucop.edu

Purpose: The network strives to improve the teaching of all subjects and grade levels. It also aims to cultivate a vibrant, professional teacher culture in the state. The projects are administered by the University of California, with the cooperation of the state education department and several higher education groups.

Number of Participants: About 65,000 teachers take part each year.

Scope: The network consists of nine statewide, subject-specific projects, with a total of about 100 sites.

Collaboratives for Humanities and Arts Teaching
(CHART)
Founded in 1985
Contact: Dennis Lubeck, Coordinator
13157 Olive Spur Road
St. Louis, MO 63141

Phone: (314) 576-3535, ext. 141
E-mail: dennis@info.csd.org

Purpose: CHART works to improve teaching in arts and humanities in elementary and secondary schools. It also acts as an advocate for those subjects. The network receives funds from the Rockefeller and Danforth foundations, among others.

Number of Participants: Approximately 5,000 teachers have been involved since 1985.

Scope: There are 14 sites nationwide, including Pittsburgh, Miami, and New York City.

Diversity and Excellence Working for the
Education of Youth (DEWEY)
Founded in 1993
Contact: Tamara Lucas, Project Director
National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, and Teaching
Box 110
Teachers College, Columbia University
525 W. 120th St.
New York, NY 10027

Phone: (212) 678-3389
E-mail: er144@columbia.edu

Purpose: DEWEY links teachers, school and district administrators, parents, and community members. Its focus is to bring about reform to ensure equity and excellence for all students, including students of diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds.

Number of Participants: Approximately 400.

Scope: Eight school districts that are suburbs of New York City.

Foxfire National Programs
Founded in 1986
Contact: Bobby Starnes, Director
Foxfire Fund Inc.
P.O. Box 541
Mountain City, GA 30562

Phone: (706) 746-5828
E-mail: foxfirefnd@aol.com

Purpose: The network aims to help teachers improve the quality of teaching and learning in their classrooms using the Foxfire approach, which stresses hands-on experiences for students. It is underwritten by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, among others.

Number of Participants: More than 4,000 teachers have been trained in the Foxfire approach.

Scope: Foxfire has 19 regional networks and several urban sites.

Geography Alliance
Founded in 1986
Contact: Joe Ferguson, Assistant Director
National Geographic Society
Geography Education Program
1145 17th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20036

Phone: (202) 775-6701
E-mail: gep@nationalgeographic.com

Purpose: The alliance offers professional development for social studies teachers and others interested in integrating geography into the curriculum. The sites are financed by the society and through matching grants, primarily from state governments.

Number of Participants: An estimated 120,000 teachers, administrators, parents, and others participate.

Scope: The network reaches all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Canada.
History Teaching Alliance
Founded in 1993
Contact: Christine Compston, Director
Department of History
Western Washington University
Bellingham, WA 98225-9506

Phone: (360) 650-3096
E-mail: compston@cc.wwu.edu

Purpose: The network is part of the National History Education Network, a coalition that serves as a clearinghouse for history education and works to bring teachers together with university scholars and others to ensure that education reform, new policies, and curricula are consistent with good history education.

Number of Participants: A total of 30 national organizations and about 300 individuals, most of them teachers, are members.

Scope: The alliance has members across the nation.

IMPACT II
Founded in 1980
Contact: Ellen Meyers, Vice President
285 W. Broadway, Room 540
New York, NY 10013

Phone: (212) 966-5582
E-mail: teachnet@teachnet.org
(Also:http://www/teachnet.org/ on the World Wide Web.)

Purpose: IMPACT II identifies and links innovative teachers who demonstrate professionalism. It documents and disseminates school-change projects and produces and distributes a line of publications and videos created by teachers.

Number of Participants: Some 30,000 teachers have received grants since the network's founding.

Scope: There are 26 sites nationwide, including Los Angeles and Fairfax County, Va.

National Writing Project
Founded in 1973
Contact: Richard Sterling, Executive Director
615 University Hall, #1040
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-1040

Phone: (510) 642-0963
E-mail: nwp@garnet.berkeley.edu

Purpose: The project is a nonprofit national network for K-12 classroom teachers that aims to improve the teaching of writing and the quality of student writing and learning. It is funded by the federal government, participating states, local sites, and such organizations as the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Number of Participants: About 1.4 million teachers and administrators participated between 1973 and 1994.

Scope: The project has 160 sites in 43 states and Puerto Rico.

Urban Mathematics Collaboratives
Founded in 1985
Contact: Joseph Merlino, Network Co-Chair
Graduate Program in Education
LaSalle University
1900 W. Olney Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19141

Phone: (215) 951-1203
E-mail: merling@lasalle.edu

Purpose: The collaboratives bring together math teachers from urban schools, higher-education faculty, and business professionals to enrich math instruction. The Rockefeller Foundation provided most start-up funding, but many sites get support from federal and state governments, school districts, and private organizations.

Number of Participants: Typically, 200 or more teachers participate at each site.

Scope: There are currently 14 sites, including Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and New Orleans.

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