Report from the Steering Committee

Coalition for Cohesive Policy,
in Addressing Barriers
to Development & Learning

May 1998


At the 1997 national summit on addressing barriers to student learning (focused on Closing Gaps in School/Community Policy and Practice), fundamental concerns were underscored regarding the critical need to fill policy gaps and enhance policy cohesion. This led to a proposal for creation of a policy-oriented coalition of organizations who have a stake in addressing barriers to development, learning, and teaching. The notion was that such a coalition could generate mechanisms to prepare and implement a strategic plan to foster policy integration and close policy gaps.

To help establish the coalition, the School Mental Health Project/Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA offered to play a catalytic role and provide technical support (e.g., bringing leaders together, facilitating creation of a steering group, providing support for planning). Organizations were identified and contacted; volunteers were solicited for a steering committee. In early March 1998, a strategic planning meeting was held in DC with those members of the steering committee who could attend. A working draft of the group's report was prepared and circulated for feedback and revision to all steering committee members in late March. The present document incorporates feedback received as of May 1.

This report remains a work in progress as is the Coalition itself. Please use the accompanying Response Form to offer suggestions for improvement.

Howard Adelman & Linda Taylor

This Report includes:
  • Why Another Coalition?
  • Current Stage of Organization
  • Purpose & Vision
    1. Toward a Vision Statement
    2. Underlying Assumptions
    3. Mission Statement
  • First Activities
  • Subsequent Steps
  • Appendices
    A. Participating Organizations
    B. Some Tools to Guide Analyses of Policy Related to Addressing Barriers to Development and Learning
    C. Over 50 National Organizations offer "Principles to Link By"
    D. Some Guidelines for Thinking About Principles in Addressing Barriers to Development and Learning
    E. Examples of Initiatives that Need to be Mapped & Analyzed

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