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The Teach Plus Story: Teachers as Policy Influencers Alice Johnson Cain Vice President for Policy, Teach Plus Education Writers Association March 6, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "The Teach Plus Story: Teachers as Policy Influencers Alice Johnson Cain Vice President for Policy, Teach Plus Education Writers Association March 6, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Teach Plus Story: Teachers as Policy Influencers Alice Johnson Cain Vice President for Policy, Teach Plus Education Writers Association March 6, 2014

2 The Teach Plus Story Our Mission: Improve the achievement of urban children by ensuring that a greater proportion of students have access to excellent, experienced teachers. Our Programs: ―Teaching Policy Fellowships ―T+ Network ―Core Collaborative (C2) ―T3: Turnaround Teacher Teams Our Focus: Demonstrably effective teachers in the second stage of their careers who want to continue classroom teaching, while also expanding their impact as leaders in their schools and in state and district policy.

3 The New Majority: Early career teachers with 10 or fewer years’ experience now make up over 52 percent of our teaching force Impact of Effective Teachers: Students with an above- average teachers are significantly more likely to attend college, save for retirement, and live in better neighborhoods, and are less likely to become pregnant as a teen Premise

4 Our Focus Areas = What we believe teachers should help solve: – Access – Common Core – Compensation – Teacher Evaluation – Teacher Preparation – Next-Generation Unionism Focus

5 Teachers Shaping Policy: Shape public opinion Testify at hearings Meet with policymakers “If there’s not a place at the table, make a place at the table!” – Arne Duncan Focus

6 Boston T3 Initiative – Research shows the highest need students get least effective teachers; Fellows wrote research-based proposal, presented to policy leaders; Major new legislation passed and new program created for “turnaround” schools to improve student outcomes. Proofpoints

7 Indy Change to Layoff Process – Hundreds of teacher layoffs in prior two years. Budget crisis; Fellows reached out to superintendent and union president to initiate join committee; Change to the contract. Proofpoints

8 Memphis Evaluation Implementation – First in nation to commit to performance-driven evaluation system; Fellows reached out to district leaders for a voice; Polled all 750 teachers who piloted observation rubric and went with winning vote; Teachers preferred to shift from current observation process (Danielson) to IMPACT. Proofpoints

9 Archives Slides

10 Chicago Common Core Conference – CTU threatening to strike, no collaboration with district; Teachers getting little support from district or union on mandated Common Core implementation; Teachers approach CTU and CPS to host joint conference on Common Core; Brizzard and Lewis appear on stage together, 2100 teachers enroll in conference; Teachers serve as leaders of peer learning on key issue. Proofpoints

11 LA Defeat of AB5 – Worst funding policy in the nation, highly seniority-driven teacher policies; teachers would lose $ associated with NCLB waiver and lose 10 days of school; coalition with other organizations across the state, legislative testimony. Proofpoints

12 Half of new teachers leave urban classrooms within 3 years, just as they are beginning to have the strongest impact on student learning. We’re giving effective teachers a reason to stay. Teachers are the most important factor in student achievement. Four consecutive years of excellent teachers could close the achievement gap. Over 50% of urban teachers have less than 10 years in the classroom. Each year, the nation’s 50 largest districts lose 10,000 top-performing teachers. The modal teacher in America has one year of experience. “ “ “ “ ” ” ” ” What the Research Tells Us

13 Teach Plus Impact Cases TopicBoston T3 Initiative Policy ContextGrowing talk of “turnaround” schools Entry Point for Teachers Research showing the highest need students get least effective teachers ProcessFellows wrote research-based proposal, presented to policy leaders The UnexpectedMajor new legislation that required firing half of teachers in turnaround schools OutcomeNew Program

14 Teach Plus Impact Cases TopicIndy Change to Layoff Process Policy ContextHundreds of teacher layoffs in prior two years. Budget crisis Entry Point for Teachers Personal experience. Most had been cut from schools where they wanted to stay ProcessFellows reached out to supe and union president to initiate joint committee The UnexpectedProposal was delayed for a vote from February to April. Unclear why OutcomeChange to the contract

15 Teach Plus Impact Cases TopicMemphis Evaluation Implementation Policy ContextFirst in nation to commit to performance-driven evaluation system Entry Point for Teachers Teach Plus teachers reached out to district leaders for a voice ProcessPolled all 750 teachers who piloted observation rubric and went with winning vote The UnexpectedTeachers preferred to shift from current observation process (Danielson) to IMPACT OutcomeTeachers decided key policy question

16 Teach Plus Impact Cases TopicLA Defeat of AB5/ Passage of Prop 30 Policy ContextWorst funding policy in the nation, highly seniority-driven teacher policies Entry Point for Teachers Teachers would lose $ associated with NCLB waiver and lose 10 days of school ProcessCoalition with other organizations across the state, legislative testimony The UnexpectedProp 30 so close it wasn’t decided for two days OutcomeTeachers serve as leaders in advocacy

17 Teach Plus Impact Cases TopicLA Defeat of AB5/ Passage of Prop 30 Policy ContextWorst funding policy in the nation, highly seniority-driven teacher policies Entry Point for Teachers Teachers would lose $ associated with NCLB waiver and lose 10 days of school ProcessCoalition with other organizations across the state, legislative testimony The UnexpectedProp 30 so close it wasn’t decided for two days OutcomeTeachers serve as leaders in advocacy

18 Teach Plus Impact Cases TopicChicago Common Core Conference Policy ContextCTU threatening to strike, no collaboration with district Entry Point for Teachers Teachers getting little support from district or union on mandated Common Core implementation ProcessTeachers approach CTU and CPS to host joint conference on Common Core The UnexpectedBrizzard and Lewis appear on stage together, 2100 teachers enroll in conference OutcomeTeachers serve as leaders of peer learning on key issue

19 Thank you! For more information, please contact


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