Photo Courtesy of Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education/ Images of Teachers and Students in Action
In the midst of digging out post-holiday inboxes (or perhaps hibernating during chilly weather), many advocates are pausing to reflect on 2017’s successes and challenges, as well as preparing for the opportunities that 2018 legislative sessions will bring. For insights into key reform wins, reflections on common challenges, and tips for strengthening advocacy skills in the year ahead, check out PIE Network’s top 5 blog posts of 2017.
PIE Network’s 2017 Eddies! Awards celebrated exemplar policymaking and advocacy campaigns from the past year, telling the story of how education policy was advanced one state at a time. This post includes a full list of advocate-selected nominees in five Eddies! Categories: Best Kept Secret, Most Actionable Research, Best Ensemble Cast, Most Valuable Player, and Game Changer of the Year. Click here to learn more about the winners who were recognized at the 2017 PIE Network Summit.
PIE Network board member Lillian Lowery of The Education Trust drew on her extensive experience as an educator and district and state leader to reflect on the importance of building a diverse educator workforce, and why it matters to helping students succeed. As Lowery explains, advocates can help keep this issue top of mind by pushing for initiatives that attract and support Black teachers and for school cultures that value diversity.
In the wake of the 2017 elections, PIE Network board member Rachel Canter of Mississippi First explained why policymakers and advocates should take education in rural America more seriously. According to Canter, the challenge lies in making urban policies work in sparsely populated areas—especially as reformers are still working out the kinks in the original design.
Following the April 2017 early deadline for Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plans, many national policy and advocacy organizations weighed in with feedback on strengths and weaknesses from the initial 17 state submissions. This post highlights key advice from the Collaborative for Student Success (in partnership with Bellwether Education Partners), and from PIE Network partners the Foundation for Excellence in Education, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, and the National Council on Teacher Quality. (Find more coverage of ESSA advocacy here.)
In early 2017, more than twenty PIE Network member and partner organizations volunteered their wisdom for a playbook of lessons learned on building and maintaining effective coalitions (Network members: find this password-protected resource here). In this post, PIE Network executive director Suzanne Kubach explores the most common advice we heard from seasoned advocates: invest in relationships.
PIE Network members can also explore the most popular resources of 2017:
- PIE Network Member and Advocacy Policy (MAP)
- Educator Voice Opportunities Page
- PIE Network 2017 Member Priorities Survey
- Better Together: Network Coalitions Playbook
To connect with any of the members and partners mentioned above, or share ideas for PIE Network blog posts in 2018, please reach out.