Equity and Access
We promote policies that ensure equity and access to a great education for all students by improving states’ accountability systems, ensuring a more equitable distribution of highly effective teachers, providing all students regardless of background an enriching preK-12 educational experience, and guaranteeing that all students can graduate with the credentials they need for success in college and career.
In Colorado, Fellows have soared into the national spotlight with social media campaigns such as #IWishMyTeacherKnew which sparked over 100 media mentions worldwide from the New York Times to USAToday to Daily Mail UK.
Fellows shaped the 2015 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), a bedrock of federal education policy that aims to ensure equity in public schools. Twenty-two Fellows traveled to Washington, D.C., to advise nearly two dozen members of Congress and help them understand how components of the bill would affect teaching and learning in their schools. Fellows also published op-eds and participated in interviews with the media to help educate the public on the issues. The final result, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), is a bill that Fellows hope leads to better progress for supporting the needs of all, but especially the most vulnerable, students.
The Black Male Educators Alliance and the Black Male Educators Convening (BMEC) are wide-reaching groups working to attract and retain more Black male educators. Founded by our Fellows, BMEC has hosted five highly attended events with key leadership from the US DOE, and boasts a membership of 493.
New York Fellows contributed to a policy brief released by Education Trust about how New York State should use the opportunities and levers in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to set clear expectations that our education system must raise achievement for all students, focus attention and resources on the full range of student groups, and insist on prompt action when schools do not meet expectations.
Academic Standards and Aligned Assessments
We support high-quality academic standards and aligned assessments with a focus on successfully implementing college- and career-ready standards for all students. This also includes working to ensure that state assessments are of quality and aligned with the state’s academic standards.
New York Fellows contributed to a policy brief on the state's revised standards, and they were published in the New York Post for their "Passing the Common Core" series. Fellows wrote about their experiences with the standards in kindergarten, first grade, third grade, fifth grade, and seventh grade.
Colorado Fellows supported high standards in their state through testifying in front of congress, writing op-eds, speaking at department of education meetings, participating in panel discussions, and using social media to advance the conversation.
The Fellowship’s teacher-to-teacher Common Core website has grown to nearly 40,000 registered users and is a crucial part of the training provided by a number of teacher quality organization including TNTP, UnboundEd, and numerous schools and districts across the country.
Fourteen Fellows authored a report, Why Assessments Matter, on how purposeful testing practices and the resulting data can support instruction, ensure equity, and inform stakeholders to become more active participants in a student’s education. Read the report here.
In August 2015, 38 New York Educator Voice Fellows analyzed questions released from the 2015 New York State Testing Program Grades 3-8 and High School Common Core English Language Arts and Mathematics tests. These teachers and principals evaluated the content of the assessments, whether the tests accurately measure student progress toward college- and career-readiness, and whether they provide valid data to inform teachers’ practice and student learning. Read the report here.
Advancing the Profession
We promote policies that advance the teaching profession and build the capacity of educators. Policy issues may include improving teacher and principal evaluation measures and tools to help inform educators’ practice; professional development; establishing career pathways and formalized teacher leadership roles; compensation; and preparation and licensure programs to raise the quality and prestige of the teaching profession.
Fellows in Colorado, Michigan, and New York hosted policymakers in their schools as part of the Bring Your Legislator To School Day initiative. Legislators observed students and teachers engaged in instruction aligned with high standards, helping to close the gap between policy and practice.
In 2015-2016, a handful of Michigan Fellows built a coalition of educators and advocates, advised several key state legislators, and spoke several times in public hearings to shape new state laws regarding teacher evaluation, Next Generation Science Standards, and in-school use of social media by advising legislators and speaking at public hearings at the Capitol.
In 2016, four Educator Voice Fellows Fellows were selected by Secretary of Education John King to serve as the U.S. Department of Education's Teacher and Principal Ambassador Fellows.
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