Project REAL, the Rockford Education Alliance, is a partnership between Northern Illinois University, Rock Valley College, and Rockford School District 205 that focuses on dramatically improving student performance and enhancing the quality of educators. Funding for the partnership comes from a $5 million, 5-year Teacher Quality Enhancement award by the U.S. Department of Education.
To accomplish their primary goal of seeing 75% of students in four Rockford public schools meet or exceed academic standards, the partners will collaborate in six areas:
- improving teaching,
- training and supporting school leaders,
- providing diverse clinical experiences for pre-service teacher candidates,
- improving teacher education programs at NIU and RVC,
- recruiting new teachers for the Rockford public schools, and
- sharing decision-making.
Project REAL begins in the classrooms of the partnership schools, where students, teachers, pre-service teacher candidates, and teacher educators work together to raise student achievement. The partners anticipate mutually beneficially outcomes that will also begin to meet Rockford's urgent need for more successful public schools.