DALLAS & WASHINGTON – Jan. 24, 2017 – Learning Forward and the National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future (NCTAF) are excited to announce they are joining forces to address the critical need to rethink and improve professional learning systems to support teaching and learning for all educators and students. The merger is effective immediately, and the nonprofits will operate under the Learning Forward banner moving forward.
“We believe this merger provides a powerful opportunity to affect positive change at the state, local, and federal levels,” said Stephanie Hirsh, executive director, Learning Forward. “Together, Learning Forward and NCTAF will continue to be laser focused on supporting the teaching profession, rethinking professional learning, and ensuring all students have access to great teaching and learning.”
In recent years, the two organizations have collaborated to release reports, sponsor challenges, conduct webinars, and co-host conferences and forums. This transition leverages the organizations’ complementary strengths and shared vision for moving the work forward.
“Learning Forward and NCTAF have long been strong partners. We have an aligned mission and goals, and today’s announcement marks a natural progression in our work together to combine staff, resources, and experience to advance our shared agenda. We are ready to advocate for systems that put great teaching and learning at the center of an exciting, forward-thinking education agenda. We believe the merger will amplify our expertise to have the greatest potential impact on the profession and education overall,” said Melinda George, former president, NCTAF, and now director of policy, advocacy, and partnerships, Learning Forward.
Learning Forward, a professional association with more than 10,000 educator members, has an international reach and works with states and school systems to help them plan, implement, and measure high-quality professional learning for educators to affect positive and lasting change. NCTAF is best known for its rich 20-year commitment to research on the teaching profession and bipartisan approach to addressing the entrenched national challenge of recruiting, developing, and retaining great teachers in order to ensure that all students have access to quality teaching in schools organized for success.
Going forward, all staff members will build upon existing state and district networks to further Learning Forward’s Standards for Professional Learning work and efforts to redesign professional development systems, as well as implement the recommendations from NCTAF’s 2016 report, “What Matters Now: A New Compact for Teaching and Learning.” Through the federal K-12 law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), there are tremendous opportunities to bring the complementary work of NCTAF and Learning Forward to state and local education leaders in ways that best support great teaching and learning. Staff members transitioning from NCTAF will spearhead the policy and advocacy efforts and provide a Washington presence.