At the Ready

More Resources to More Advocates More Quickly

Over the past 10 years, the PIE Network has connected advocates for education reform across state lines, maximizing impact. As federal education policy evolved and national and state leaders changed in 2016, the PIE Network provided stability and sustainability of the advocacy sector to stay committed for the long haul.

Responding Rapidly as ESSA Unfolded: As the year began, the Network was a go-to information source to help advocates understand the still unfolding nature of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), aggregating different points of view as they unfolded about the implication of this new federal law.

Sustaining Cross-Ideological Conversations: As 2016 ended, we saw an election season like no other, and another important aspect of the Network proved invaluable. The PIE Network stands as proof that even in today’s political climate, respectful cross-ideological debate can be sustained.

Identifying Top Policy Priorities: An annual survey of state-level advocates guides the Network’s priorities, and this past year a six-year analysis provided even more insights confirming the top policy priorities:

  • charters and choice
  • educator voice and policy
  • standards and accountability
  • Student In front of lockers

These shared priorities drive programs, link advocates to the resources and relationships they need, and increase efficiency.

  • 34

  • States
  • + Washington DC
  • 77

  • Organizations

Advocates in the
PIE Network…

Exchange know-how to advance and defend reform policies

Trading strategies and insights: Nearly 300 leaders from more than 130 organizations from 34 states and D.C. connected at the 2016 PIE Network Members’ Meeting and Policy Summit to exchange strategies and insights—engaging in candid conversations about wins and losses from recent legislative sessions—looking around corners and planning for the upcoming year.

“My first PIE Network Summit was a home run. Can’t believe the number of conversations I had that resulted in us changing, refining or doubling down on our planning.” Bradford Swann SouthCarolinaCAN

  • 300

    Leaders

  • 130

    Organizations

  • 2016

    Members’ Meeting
    and Policy Summit

Sharpening tactics: Exchanging insights on the top policy priorities of the Network—charters and choice, educator voice and policy,  and standards and accountability— sharpens innovations and tactics for reform.

Lessons on Community Engagement

Requirements of the Every Students Succeeds Act (ESSA) increased focus and reinforced the need for stronger community engagement, so advocates dug in to see who in the Network had done this well and used their work as a model.

“My first PIE Network Summit was a home run. Can’t believe the number of conversations I had that resulted in us changing, refining or doubling down on our planning.” Bradford Swann SouthCarolinaCAN

Connect more leaders to accelerate impact

Increasing advocacy impact: In a year when federal policy created significant space for state ownership, the Network was ready for rapid dissemination of information on ESSA, putting urgent information at advocates’ fingertips. A series of ESSA webinars drew more than 200 advocates, synthesizing information fundamental to on-the-ground state advocacy work.

“PIE Network Summits are some of the few things I prioritize attending. I see everyone I want to see, especially state folks, I have different kinds of conversations in sessions, even when they’re challenging.” JEN BLUESTEIN Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Engaging educator voices: Champions from 19 organizations and 16 states joined the growing effort among advocates in the Network to engage innovative educators in their work, coming together at the first-ever Network meeting for state advocates on education voice and policy.

Defending charter gains: 2016 was a year of defending gains made in the charter sector across the Network. By capturing insights and know-how from members leading charter work and facilitating in-person and virtual connections, members had access to lessons learned to support their strategic defense.

Sharpen advocacy strategy and build capacity

Strengthening leadership skills: Proven Network leaders strengthened their leadership abilities through the PIE Network Leadership Institute, a cohort-based program that strengthens the more intangible advocacy arts of persuasion, negotiation, and leading change in complex organizations.

Enriching communications: 39 Network communicators from 28 organizations—a third of the Network—came together to enrich advocacy communications on everything from ESSA to the Network’s three policy priority areas. Nearly all of communication training attendees said they would recommend the workshop to colleagues, making it one of the highest-rated Network events of 2016.

"Communicators Bootcamp highlighted fresh ways to think about audience, so we could develop messages and methods for our advocacy campaign that built meaningful connections with teachers and parents." TERESA WASSON SCORE

Spread advocacy news and tools

Spreading resources further: By doubling down on the Network’s online presence and digital strategy—including a new PIE Network website—advocates can get what they need, as soon as they need it.

Finding solutions: Advocates can quickly identify whose work parallels their own, digest successful and unsuccessful strategies, and follow along as their peers dial up the volume on various issues—seeking resources and connections from the halls of a statehouse or at their desks, any time any day.

Informing strategy: Fresh news and resources—both on the Network website and social media—connects advocates with more examples of member work and highlights valuable national content that could inform or support local strategy.

Increasing impact: Advocates are spending twice as much time on the new Network website and engaging more deeply, consuming more resources than ever before.

“PIE Network Summits are some of the few things I prioritize attending. I see everyone I want to see, especially state folks, I have different kinds of conversations in sessions, even when they’re challenging.” JEN BLUESTEIN Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

"Communicators Bootcamp highlighted fresh ways to think about audience, so we could develop messages and methods for our advocacy campaign that built meaningful connections with teachers and parents." TERESA WASSON SCORE

“We love working with the PIE Network. Their training sessions are top-notch and the best investment I can make in the ongoing development of my people.” SCOTT LABAND Colorado Succeeds

  • Student writing with Pencil
  • Capitol Building
  • Female PIE Network Member

Sustain the long-game for the movement

In response to growth in the advocacy sector, the Network revamped its membership criteria in 2016, welcoming 30 new organizations and adding three states to the membership map.

A sustained network is a multiplier that amplifies the movement’s voice and accelerates its impact.

Grassroots Organizations Bring Renewed Urgency

Among the new organizations represented are more grassroots organizations, many of whom are working to build lasting power within historically disenfranchised communities least-served by traditional systems of schooling. These organizations bring a renewed urgency to the Network and remind us why sometimes different issues rise to the top of the priority list.

Growing Proportionate to the Movement

In 2016, the PIE Network connected 77 advocacy organizations working in 34 states and Washington, D.C. along with close to 20 national partners, linking them to the resources that accelerate their impact for kids. The PIE Network tracks anticipated growth in the advocacy sector, ensuring membership continues to be proportionate to who’s working where across the country.

Building the network provides members more access to influential thinkers and leaders.

At the state level, policy-making is an annual endeavor. Support for the Network ensures habits are in place for rapid dissemination of resources and information. Advocates rely on the PIE Network as their go-to source for support and resources across major policy issues and changing political landscapes.

A sustained network is a multiplier that amplifies the movement’s voice and accelerates its impact.

2016 Financials

Policy Innovators in Education Network, LLC received clean audit results for its 2016 financials. In supplement PIE Network, Inc. also participates in performance review comparing the organization’s financial records across more than 120 other alliance and advocacy organizations with revenue ranging between $1M-$10M and received healthy scores across all categories. Fully audited documents along with a copy of the performance review are availab

Building the network provides members more access to influential thinkers and leaders.