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Our Partnerships

The National Education Association (NEA) partners with a variety of organizations to promote Great Public Schools for every student. Our partnerships focus on those designed to enhance student success, achieve excellence in the education professions, and fight for educational opportunity and equity for all students. These partnerships advance NEA’s national priorities and, in many instances, are grounded by state and local projects with NEA affiliates.

These featured partnerships focus on improving student success, helping educators become more accomplished in their profession, helping to empower educators to create solutions that work for students, helping to advance social and economic justice for students and their families, and engaging families and communities. We invite you Learn more about some of NEA’s many partnerships and our valued partners.

Submit a request to initiate a partnership opportunity with NEA.

Supporting Student Success

Preserving Our Collective History

The Great Thanksgiving Listen (StoryCorps) – In classrooms across the country, educators have a history of encouraging students to dip into the well of the past and teaching the power of stories.  It is in this tradition that NEA gladly joins StoryCorps as a promotional partner for its Great Thanksgiving Listen project.

On Thanksgiving weekend 2015, the acclaimed oral history project StoryCorps will work with NEA members and other U.S. history teachers across America to ask their students to record an interview with a grandparent or another elder using the free StoryCorps app. With permission from the participants, each of these interviews will be uploaded to the StoryCorps archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.  By encouraging students also to ask their interviewees about their own favorite teachers or school memoires, this project will also create a valuable archive of the teaching and learning experience.

The Great Thanksgiving Listen will use near-universally accessible smartphone technology to foster meaningful connections within families, communities, and the classroom while also creating a singular and priceless archive of American history and wisdom. This 2015 pilot is expected to result in the single largest collection of human voices ever gathered

  • Learn more about the Great Thanksgiving Listen here

Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning (NJCTL) – NEA and its New Jersey affiliate, the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), is proud to partner and support the expansion of successful STEM programs to new sites throughout the country. NJEA helped to create the New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning, which has provided robust professional development and science certification programs for educators, and an innovative STEM curriculum to students. The NJCTL recently confirmed ( PDF, 161 KB, 4 pgs.) that it now produces more physics teachers than any college or university in the United States. Specifically, NEA’s investment seeks to expand the Progressive Science Initiative and Progressive Mathematics Initiative, which is closing access and achievement gaps between low-income students and their more affluent peers in advanced math and science. This model has now expanded beyond New Jersey into other states and even other countries.

Promoting Reading

First Book – Through NEA’s Read Across America program, qualifying schools serving children in need may apply to receive free books from First Book.

Promoting Civics Education and Educator Professional Development and Growth Programs

American Civic Education Teacher Awards (ACETA) - In 2006, the Center for Civic Education, the Center on Congress at Indiana University, and the National Education Association launched the American Civic Education Teacher Awards, designed to recognize educators who have demonstrated a special expertise in teaching about the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Congress, and public policy. Each year the ACETA program selects and showcases three teachers who have done exemplary work in preparing young people to become informed and engaged citizens. Award recipients are civic education teachers who have demonstrated a special expertise in teaching about the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Congress, and public policy at the state and local levels.These honorees are full-time, K–12 classroom teachers, serving in public or private schools. To learn more about ACETA and apply (deadline April 15th), please review the Center for Civic Education press relase:
2015 American Civic Education Teacher Awards
( MS-WORD, 16.2 KB, 20 pgs.)

Edward M. Kennedy Institute (EMK) – NEA was one of the first contributors to support the establishment of EMK, an institute dedicated to educating the public about our government and participatory democracy, and inspiring the next generation of leaders to engage in spirited and civil public discourse about the issues of our time. An NEA affiliate, the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association, partnered with the EMK Institute, serving on its advisory board, to guide the development of the Institute’s education programs for students and to help shape professional development courses for educators. Students will have access to high experiential learning opportunities such as simulated debates, mock hearings, legislative drafting, and more. Educators will also have access to professional development courses, designed by educators, to help enrich their instructional knowledge and skills.

Helping Parents and Communities Understand the Common Core State Standards

NEA has partnered with numerous organizations – such as NAACP, National Council of La Raza, the League of Latin Americans Citizens, the National PTA, the National Indian Education Association, the National Urban League, the Congressional Black Caucus Institute, the Learning First Alliance, the National Conference of State Legislatures – to help parents, communities, and other organizations understand new academic standards, often referred to as the Common Core State Standards, that will help prepare students for college or careers.

Helping Parents Help Their Children Succeed

National PTA – NEA has partnered with the National Parent Teacher Association to produce numerous guidebooks that provide parents with the tools they need to help their children succeed.

Achievement through Mentoring

Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Partnership with NEA Priority Schools Campaign – NEA partners with Kappa Alpha Psi to deliver robust youth leadership, college preparation, mentoring, and tutoring programs for students aspiring to graduate from college and become youth leaders. Our partnership with Kappa Alpha Psi links the passion and legacy of the public service of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity members to NEA’s Priority Schools sites in an effort to dramatically improve educational outcomes for students and enhance community involvement in schools that have struggled academically and/or are significantly under-resourced. Programs include:

  • Kappa League – Youth leadership initiative, training young men for leadership, achievement and service in all fields.
  • Diamonds In the Rough College Prep Program – Online college and career planning instruction provided to students aspiring to succeed after high school.
  • A-Man – STEM based Initiative.
  • Site Based Mentoring – monthly school visits to provide mentoring and conflict resolution advisement to students.
  • Site Based Tutoring – tutor students on a monthly basis.
  • Lead Prep – Monthly Speaker and workshop series where guest facilitators and speakers speak about their career field and leadership.


Closing Achievements Gaps

NEA Foundation – Through targeted philanthropy, the Foundation funds proposals which serve under-achieving, low-income, and ethnic minority students to close the achievement gaps.

Fighting for Access to College & Diversifying the Higher Education Pipeline

Own the DREAM – NEA members are helping DREAMERS achieve their goal of accessing higher education. To assist affiliates and members promote this important work, a brochure was developed to help students, members, and communities navigate the process.

Healthy Students and Safe School Environments

NEA Health Information Network (HIN) – NEA’s sister organization, the NEA Health Information Network, works to improve the health and safety of school communities through information and programs that educate and empower school professionals and positively impact the lives of students. HIN and NEA support local initiatives through its programs:


Fighting for Education Opportunity for All Students

NEA has partnered with organizations like the Opportunity to Learn Campaign, Opportunity Action, the Education Law Center, and the Advancement Project to help close the opportunity gaps that exist for too many students across the country. We believe that every student should have access to a great public school.

We are also a member organization of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of over 200 national organizations dedicated to promoting and protecting the civil and human rights of all Americans. We work with our partners to fight for universal early childhood, high quality teachers and teaching, fair funding, fair discipline policies, and more.

Learn more about these partners:

Funding Teachers’ and other Educators’ Classroom Projects – The NEA Foundation matches public donations that fund projects proposed by NEA members to help their students. Through our work, we’ve learned that the best teaching ideas come from our greatest assets: educators. Teachers have great ideas to help their students learn more, but they often lack the resources they need to bring their ideas to life. Last year, through our partnership with, we matched public donations to support 1,500 NEA member requests for classroom materials, reaching 120,000 public school students.


Creating Accomplished Educators:
High quality instruction and services help students succeed!

Better Lesson

NEA has partnered with Better Lesson to launch the NEA Master Teacher Project (MTP), which showcases best practices for educators working with students in the new era of Common Core State Standards. NEA members who are accomplished teachers have come together in teams to create year-long curricula, broken down by grade and by subject matter – all fully aligned with the Common Core State Standards. These are free, high-quality lesson plans accessible not only to NEA members but to all educators across the country. We believe that every student should have access to high standards, high-quality curriculum, and high-quality teaching, regardless of a student’s zip code, background or family income.

Teaching Channel

Teachers are always looking for innovative, engaging and challenging ways to teach their students, and NEA embraces its responsibility to help provide members with access to as many tools as possible to help them deliver world-class instruction to students. The Teaching Channel provides a multitude of videos exemplifying best practices for educators that cover various subjects, student populations, and Common Core State Standards.

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

NEA was one of the founding members of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), an organization committed to advancing student learning and achievement by establishing the definitive standards and systems for certifying accomplished educators, providing programs and advocating policies that support excellence in teaching and leading, and engaging National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) and leaders in that process.

NEA, in partnership with NBPTS, seeks to elevate the status, voice and role of accomplished teachers in shaping a true profession. This includes:

  1. raising public awareness with respect to the cognitively complex, collaborative and expertise-driven nature of teachers’ work;
  2. setting higher standards for entry and advancement into the profession; and,
  3. recognizing accomplished teaching through a rigorous professional certification process, comparable to those found in other premier professions, such as medicine, engineering and law.

Numerous NEA members serve on the Board of NBPTS, including the President of NEA. NEA and its affiliates have also advocated for policy initiatives which expand access to and recognition for teachers who earn National Board Certification status.

Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

NEA joined the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, Teacher Education Accreditation Council, and other stakeholders to review the uniform standards which formed Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). CAEP standards set a new and high bar for candidates entering the profession. NEA believes there should be high standards for entering the teaching profession, and CAEP’s accreditation standards are an important aspect of achieving that goal.

Supporting Innovation, Collaboration, and High Quality Teaching

NEA Foundation – The NEA Foundation’s Institute for Innovation in Teaching & Learning provides grants to support collaborative efforts by teams of local educator unions and district administrations to make significant, measurable changes in practices and policies, such as collective bargaining agreements or district policies that improve teaching and learning. The foundation also awards grants directly to educators at all levels who seek to improve student achievement, close achievement gaps, develop creative learning opportunities for students, and enhance their own professional development.

Colorín Colorado

As the nation becomes more diverse, it is important that educators have the tools necessary to provide the best education to all students. With over four million students in America for whom English is a second language, it is essential that educators be equipped to support every student.

As a result, the NEA has partnered with Colorín Colorado to provide a variety of English language learner (ELL) resources for educators, administrators and families. The organization’s web platform, hosted by WETA houses free instructional materials, as well as educational videos and research reports for educators and communities on various education topics ranging from the Common Core State Standards to greater issues around ELL Policy. Colorín Colorado boasts over 2 million unique visitors and has a broad audience that reaches across NEA membership and beyond. With support from the NEA, the site continues to prove itself as a goldmine of timely and useful content for ELL teachers and families.

Learn more about Colorín Colorado.


Empowering Educator Leaders

The Teacher Leadership Initiative

NEA, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and the Center for Teaching Quality have joined forces to create the Teacher Leadership Initiative (TLI), a new initiative to develop a new generation of leaders within the profession. TLI is focused on the following:

  1. defining the foundational competencies of teacher leadership;
  2. developing relevant experiences and support to help teachers cultivate those competencies; and,
  3. activating teachers to be leaders in their profession as a result of their participation in this process.


Learning and Leadership

NEA Foundation – The NEA Foundation makes grants to teachers, education support professionals, and higher education faculty for one of two purposes:

  1. participate in high quality professional development, or
  2. mentoring experiences for staff in new positions.



Social and Economic Justice

Advancing Restorative Justice

Advancement Project — NEA and the Advancement Project, in a broader coalition of organizations, have joined forces to advocate for restorative justice to reduce disparities in school disciplinary policies and practices that feed the school-to-prison pipeline.

Anti-bullying and School Climate

NEA has partnered with the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Network (GLSEN), the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and other stakeholders to lead efforts throughout the nation to create safe learning environments where students can excel. NEA believes that all of its members should have the tools and information they need to not only be a caring adult for students who are experiencing bullying, but also have the skills and knowledge to prevent it from happening in the first place. NEA’s Bully-Free: It Starts With Me campaign is designed to do just that.

  • Learn more about Bully Free: It Starts With Me.
  • Learn more about the work our partners GLSEN and HRC are doing to help students and educators create classrooms and school environments that are more conducive to learning.

Helping Students Achieve Their Dreams

NEA has joined with the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) and more than 100 organizations from around the country to form the NILC DREAM Policy Table, which advances a policy agenda that makes the dream becoming citizens of the U.S. and of attending university a reality for young people.

We have partnered with NILC, Own the Dream, United We Dream and others to host clinics for students to learn how to file applications related to the Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, so that aspiring Americans who have attended US public schools and meet certain eligibility criteria can apply for financial aid to attend college. NEA has provided resources to educators about how to help students navigate this process, and we have hosted DACA clinics in Texas, Virginia, and Washington, DC.

End Racial Profiling

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, American Federation of Teachers, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Teaching Tolerance/Southern Poverty Law Center, Facing History and Ourselves, Not In Our Town/Not In Our School, and Human Rights Educators of the USA Network – Through a broad coalition, educators and community leaders around the nation are working to end racial profiling through education and action.


Grant Funded NEA Projects*

Empowering All Students to Achieve the Core

Grantor: Student Achievement Partners/Helmsley Trust
Amount: $750,000
Grant Period: November 1, 2012 - October 31, 2015

To design tools and digital applications that will assist teachers in instructional practice as they incorporate changes required for effective and successful implementation of the CCSS.

NEA Master Teacher Project

Grantor: Gates Foundation
Amount: $3,882,600
Grant Period: August 1, 2013 to February 15, 2015

To support a cohort of NEA Master Teachers in the development of online accessible Common Core-aligned lessons in K-5 mathematics and K-12 English Language Arts.

Teacher Leadership Initiative - More and Better Learning Time

Grantor: Ford Foundation
Amount: $250,000
Grant Period: September 1, 2013 to October 31, 2014

To foster collaboration among and leadership by teachers and promote adoption of expanded learning time in high-need schools through the NEA Great Public Schools Network and Teacher Leadership Initiative.

Teacher Ambassadors for the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

Grantor: West Ed/Smarter Balanced/Helmsley Trust
Amount: $25,000
Grant Period: November 1, 2013 - April 14, 2015

To develop Teacher Ambassadors to lead trainings in the instructional shifts necessary to implement the Common Core State Standards and to explain the Smarter Balanced Assessment System (summative, interim, and formative assessment process) in 26 states.

Popping the Hood on Assessment Development

Grantor: PARCC/Helmsley Trust
Amount: $100,900
Grant Period: December 1, 2013 - April 30, 2015

To engage hundreds of members of union affiliates across PARCC’s 18 states plus the District of Columbia in an effort to increase transparency around critical assessment development activities. The grant also supports teacher-to-teacher training, other communications to the broader audience of union members and the development of teacher-created instructional supports.

Stories of Success: A spotlight on teacher voice in support of the Standards

Grantor: Student Success Collaborative
Amount: $50,000
Grant Period: April 1, 2014 - August 31, 2014

To support a video/multimedia project that will capture educators’ stories of how the Common Core State Standards are making a positive difference in the lives of students and teachers.

Teacher Leadership Initiative - Diversity, Equity and Cultural Competency

Grantor: W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Amount: $750,000
Grant Period: May 1, 2014 - August 31, 2016

To prepare a diverse cohort of effective teachers through the NEA’s teacher leadership initiative, who will lead a transformed teaching profession focused on diversity, equity and cultural competency.

Empowered Educators’ Day Conference Support

Grantor: GE Foundation
Amount: $50,000
Grant Period: June 1, 2014 - July 31, 2014

To provide general support for the pre-RA Raise Your Hand Day that brings together at least 1,000 RA delegates and emerging NEA education leaders who are committed to moving an association-led, student-centered agenda that advances NEA’s goal of a great public school for every student.

Empowered Educators Days Conference Support

Grantor: Gates Foundation
Amount: $100,000
Grant Period: June 1, 2014 - October 31, 2014

To support the attendance of NEA Master Teachers at the NEA’s Empowered Educators Day and thereby provide them with the opportunity to share their expertise and leadership experiences related to the Common Core.

Teacher Leadership Initiative - Teacher Leaders and Extended Learning Time

Grantor: Ford Foundation
Amount: $250,000
Grant Period: September 1, 2014 - September 30, 2015

To continue the work of the Center for Great Public Schools and its Teacher Leadership Initiative to foster collaboration among and leadership by teachers and further explore the concept of expanded learning time in high-need schools across the country.



* Each of the grants listed above were secured through the usual grant application process in order to fund NEA work.

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