Find your next job fast at the Jan. 28 Virtual Career Fair. Register now.
School & District Management

Business Group Merges With Education Center

By Catherine Gewertz — November 13, 2002 3 min read

The National Alliance of Business, a prominent supporter of efforts to improve education, has merged with a group that uses data to drive better school performance. The newly configured organization will help states implement the nuts-and-bolts systems deemed necessary for higher student achievement.

With last week’s merger announcement, the NAB is officially out of business. But its mission will continue under the banner of the Austin, Texas-based National Center for Educational Accountability. The merger was conceived as a way to bring the strengths of each organization to bear as states struggle to fulfill the mandates of the federal “No Child Left Behind Act” of 2001.

“Now that the legislation is passed, we are in a new stage,” said Roberts T. Jones, the former chief executive officer of the NAB, who will now serve on the NCEA’s board of directors. “We are getting into the detailed implementation of very complex things, because everything in that legislation is based on data collection, management, and disclosure.”

“That changes the way you do business and the kinds of resources you need to bring to the table,” he added.

A key resource offered by the Washington-based NAB is the business coalitions it has built across the country in its 34 years. Those coalitions can play a pivotal role in bolstering political and financial support for the adoption of academic standards, accountability measures, and data-driven improvement systems, and can help deliver resources that schools need to put improvement systems into place, Mr. Jones said.

Leaders of the newly merged group see the NCEA as an important conduit of information for businesses to enable them to expand their role in helping improve schools. The NCEA offers schools expertise in data-driven performance analysis and improvement.

Data Expertise

Formed only a year ago, the NCEA is a joint venture of the Education Commission of the States, a Denver-based research group for state policymakers; the University of Texas at Austin; and Just for the Kids Inc., an Austin-based nonprofit organization that launched the school improvement model used by the NCEA. In that model, data on student performance are used to assess schools’ shortcomings and design blueprints for improvement.(“Texas Group Makes News With Data,” Nov. 28, 2001.)

Bradford C. Duggan, the NCEA’s executive director, said the group posts its findings on Web sites to spark what it sees as a broad-based, problem-solving process on how to improve achievement. The data it assembled on five states and five urban districts are already posted at, and the best practices identified in some states are posted on the Just for the Kids site,

“Our purpose is to promote conversation and discussion,” Mr. Duggan said.

The merger represents both a closing chapter and a new beginning for the NAB, which was founded in 1968 by President Lyndon B. Johnson and the automaker Henry Ford II to aid government in finding work for the unemployed.

In more recent years, it had evolved into an organization of 5,000 businesses focusing on ways to improve the nation’s schools. The NAB has advocated the introduction of incentives such as shared staff bonuses to drive improvements in achievement. (“More Incentives Would Drive Schools to Improve, Business Alliance Argues,” Feb. 16, 2000.)

The business alliance also undertook a major campaign to improve teacher quality. It released a report last year that called for better preparation and compensation for the profession. (“Businesses Seek Teacher ‘Renaissance,’” Feb. 7, 2001.)

Though the NAB will no longer exist, its work on K-12 education will continue under the NCEA’s banner, with some of its staff and board members joining the NCEA, Mr. Jones said. A small group of former NAB employees who have led the alliance’s education initiatives will open a new Washington office of the NCEA, he said.

A version of this article appeared in the November 13, 2002 edition of Education Week as Business Group Merges With Education Center


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
School & District Management Webinar
How to Make Learning More Interactive From Anywhere
Join experts from Samsung and Boxlight to learn how to make learning more interactive from anywhere.
Content provided by Samsung
Teaching Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: How Educators Can Respond to a Post-Truth Era
How do educators break through the noise of disinformation to teach lessons grounded in objective truth? Join to find out.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
School & District Management Webinar
The 4 Biggest Challenges of MTSS During Remote Learning: How Districts Are Adapting
Leaders share ways they have overcome the biggest obstacles of adapting a MTSS or RTI framework in a hybrid or remote learning environment.
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Superintendent, Dublin Unified School District
Dublin, California (US)
Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates
Superintendent, Dublin Unified School District
Dublin, California (US)
Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates
Larkspur, California
Tamalpais Union High School District
Special Education Teachers
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13

Read Next

School & District Management ‘Spying’ on Teachers? District Accused of Scouring for Staff Flouting COVID-19 Safety
A Fla. district used social media posts of teachers partying, traveling, & maskless to undercut their union's argument for working remotely.
Scott Travis
4 min read
Image shows close up of a line art eye with a group of people silhouetted in the reflection of the pupil.
Collage by Gina Tomko/Education Week (Images: filo/DigitalVision Vectors + Getty)
School & District Management Opinion Parents Berating Teachers? Making Decisions Without the Data? Advice for Principals
A year marred by COVID-19 has created new challenges for principals. Here are some answers.
6 min read
Principal Advice SOC
Getty and Vanessa Solis/Education Week
School & District Management Student Mental Health and Learning Loss Continue to Worry Principals
Months into the pandemic, elementary principals say they still want training in crucial areas to help students who are struggling.
3 min read
Student sitting alone with empty chairs around her.
Maria Casinos/iStock/Getty
School & District Management Opinion A Road Map for Education Research in a Crisis
Here are five basic principles for a responsible and timely research agenda during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Robin J. Lake
4 min read
Two opposing sides reaching out to work together
J.R. Bee for Education Week