Building Support for Effective Teaching: The Impact of Public Will

The United Way Worldwide (UWW) recently released a study on how communities can work together to advance effective teaching and empower effective teachers.  Beginning in July 2009, the study took place in 14 communities located in Florida, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

United Way Worldwide worked with the communities to identify strategies to support and enhance effective teaching at every grade level, and developed and deployed new models of community engagement.  At the outset of the study, UWW worked from the assumption that a third-party collaborative model, in which a community-based organization (such as UWW) works as a neutral convener, would be the best model for pulling together disparate parties to build public support for bold reform.  This study confirms that the model works. Other important conclusions are:

  • Communication is key to the success and sustainability of any public policy campaign.
  • Policymakers at all levels of government look to their communities first for successful ideas and strategies.
  • Advocacy campaigns, particularly those designed to leverage relationships, thrive when given broad latitude.  Giving participants the ability to design policies that work best for their communities, while maintaining transparency and sharing information across sites, provides opportunities for transferring successful strategies and shedding light on any patterns that may emerge.

To read the full report, including specific information about the strategies and models used for the study, please visit