Ensemble Learning began as The College Ready Promise, an organization focused on supporting five Los Angeles schools on effective teaching. When we expanded our focus to serving charter schools nationwide and focusing on the subgroups of underserved students, we knew we needed a new name, but had no idea where to begin. How could we embody everything we wanted to be and do for students in one name? So we went back to our core beliefs about school improvement. First, it takes a team. The idealization that one teacher or principal can change a school makes a great movie, but I’ve never seen it happen in a school. It takes an ensemble: a group of committed individuals with similar goals.
We also knew we didn’t have all the answers. Many smart, passionate individuals have worked to make better outcomes for English learners, students with disabilities and the other groups of students we hoped to impact. There wasn’t going to be an easy solution that fits all. We were going to have to be an organization that was continuously reading, talking to anyone who has ideas or expertise, looking at technology solutions, visiting schools and innovating and revising our own program. We had to be a learning organization.
Thus Ensemble Learning was born.