Policy Fellows Initiative

Spring 2017


Apply to be a Policy Fellow Today!

[Insert application or directions to apply]

The Policy Fellow application is open to all current Educator Voice and alumni Fellows in Colorado, New York, and Tennessee. This application will close on [insert date].



Policy Fellows work closely with their colleagues, Fellowship staff, and partner organizations to advance a specific education policy issue that they believe will make public education better in their state. With the support of the Fellowship, Policy Fellows will take a proactive approach to this work, shaping state leaders’ agenda for new policies and taking initiative to move existing policy in a better direction.

What will the experience be like for Policy Fellows?

A Policy Fellow will:

  • Be given the opportunity to shape the agenda around an education policy issue in their state over the course of a school year;
  • Be a trailblazer by proving to policymakers, advocacy groups, and funders that educators' involvement in policymaking leads to better decisions for students, teachers, and schools;
  • Cultivate working relationships with state and local policymakers and advocacy groups;
  • Receive coaching and support to further develop policy, communication, and leadership skills;
  • Attend a three-day Summer Institute [insert dates], day-long working group sessions in the fall and winter, and the day-long Advocacy Day in Spring 2018;
  • Write policy proposals and contribute to policy briefs, white papers, and communications campaigns;
  • Help strengthen the Fellowship’s professional network in their state;
  • Receive a $2,000 stipend and all expenses paid for work done with the Fellowship;
  • Expect to spend 1-2 hours per week - around 8 hours per month - working on their policy project.

How will Fellowship staff support Policy Fellows?

Fellowship staff will:

  • Facilitate a constructive decision-making process with Policy Fellows at Summer Institute to select the issue topics they want to focus on shaping during the school year;
  • Support each Policy Fellow to write a policy proposal;
  • Coordinate quarterly meetings and working groups with Policy Fellows, policymakers and state policy experts;
  • Provide more in-depth training on how education policy is created and implemented;
  • Provide training on each of our four issue areas and any other relevant workshops or modules;
  • Create space and incentives for Fellows to regularly collaborate and strategize together the best ways to influence state policy;
  • Connect Fellows to opportunities to elevate their voices;
  • Provide templates for reaching out to policymakers;
  • Support Fellows with research and writing;
  • Support the Bring Your Legislator to School Day initiative.

How will Policy Fellows select their issues?

Policy Fellows will choose their policy issue at our Fellowship Summer Institute in [insert month], then will work throughout the school year to shape public opinion and policy decisions around the chosen issue. Policy Fellows will choose an issue that is aligned with one of the Fellowship's issue areas listed below as well as pertinent to their state and has the potential to be impacted during the 2017-18 school year.

  • Promoting 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.
  • 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.
  • Advancing the teaching profession and building 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.

How will Policy Fellows be chosen?

For the upcoming 2017-18 program year, this opportunity is only available to Fellows (current Educator Voice and alumni) in Colorado, New York, and Tennessee. Fellows who completed at least two educator voice activities and attended both the fall and spring convenings during their Fellowship year will be considered for this initiative.

Current and alumni Fellows who are interested in becoming a Policy Fellow will complete a written application and participate in a phone interview with Fellowship staff. Accepted Policy Fellows will be notified in early June and all Policy Fellows will be required to attend the Summer Policy Institute in their state.