Who We Are

Who We Are


The Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative envisions a society that respects the diversity and individuality of its members and demonstrates a shared responsibility for providing the opportunity for all persons to realize their fullest potential.


The Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative is a national network of approximately 100 school districts committed to improving outcomes for students with disabilities. The Collaborative's mission is to improve educational outcomes and life opportunities of children and youth with disabilities in urban schools through leadership development.


Our support of urban education leaders is grounded in our belief that leaders should have opportunities for leadership development and networking with colleagues and access to information and data that enhances their effectiveness.  We believe all students with disabilities in urban schools should have the following:

  • Opportunities to achieve at high levels
  • Inclusion in all aspects of school and community life
  • Access to rigorous curriculum and effective teachers and service providers
  • Enhanced opportunities for post secondary education, independent living, and employment

For a current list of our members, please follow this link.


The Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative is an initiative of the Learning and Teaching Division (http://ltd.edc.org) at Education Development Center, Inc. (http://edc.org).


Founded in 1994, the Collaborative is modeled after the Massachusetts Urban Project, a statewide network of special education leaders from 15 urban school districts in the state. For nearly 20 years, the Collaborative has provided exceptional leadership development and networking opportunities uniquely designed to support urban special and general education administrators. The Collaborative seeks to answer the call of leaders in school districts across the country who express a need for a forum through which they can network and talk with others facing similar issues. The need for the Collaborative is clear and has been reinforced by its continuous growth from fewer than 20 to nearly 100 urban school districts.

Member Districts

The Collaborative's membership is comprised of urban school districts and their district administrators in special and general education - and related fields - responsible for designing and providing educational services for students with disabilities and their families. The organization provides professional growth opportunities to these administrators with a view toward enhancing their knowledge and leadership skills so that they are more informed, thoughtful, and strategic leaders and that the programs and services they support have a greater chance of improving outcomes for students.  Click here to view a map of our current members.