The Learning First Alliance had its beginnings as the Forum of Educational Organization Leaders established in the early 1990s. The Forum provided opportunities for the leaders of the major educational organizations to meet and engage in substantive discussions with leading thinkers in the field of education.
In 1996, members of the Forum voted to restructure the organization and formally incorporate the group. Concerned that America’s schools today face unprecedented challenges, member organizations believed they could provide stronger leadership for public education by working more closely together on a common agenda.
The Alliance represents a unique effort by the leading national organizations responsible for providing and governing public education to focus on the core issues facing America’s schools.
In the early years, LFA commissioned a number of research studies, creating work that guided the thinking of the field. Early publications include:
- The Every Child Reading series, which provided common sense analysis of the research on reading instruction and sought to assist teachers and administrators in planning and delivering more effective training and instruction in reading (1998; 2000)
- Every Child Mathematically Proficient, which provided an action plan for improving teaching and learning in mathematics and led to the development of Math Tips for Parents, Math Tips for Teachers, and Math Tips for Schools (1998)
- Every Child Learning: Safe and Supportive Schools, which synthesizes the literature, identifies four research-based elements essential to safe and supportive schools, and makes recommendations on how schools and districts can build safe and supportive learning communities (2001)
- A Shared Responsibility: Staffing All High-Poverty, Low-Performing Schools with Effective Teachers and Administrators, a framework for action highlighting eight areas for educators, policy makers, and other stakeholders to address in collaborative efforts to improve recruitment and retention of effective teachers for hard-to-staff schools (2005)