State-based education advocacy organizations and their leaders are often rich in passion and knowledge, yet strapped for time and resources. When these organizations join the PIE Network, they’re more connected, and they’re more powerful. As organizations strengthen, the movement accelerates. And kids get the education they deserve.
PIE Network Membership
Improving K-12 education is critically important and uniquely challenging work. These painstaking efforts are led by state-based advocacy organizations and their leaders—rich in passion and knowledge, and strapped for time and resources. When these organizations join PIE Network, they’re connected and they become more powerful. Stronger, smarter, and more efficient. Organizations strengthen. The movement accelerates. So that the greatest impact can be realized, and all children can get the education they deserve.
The Network is made up of diverse views and experiences from across ideological, ethnic, and socio-economic spectrums. PIE Network members know there’s no universal model, no silver bullet. However, a set of values anchored in the belief that education is transformative and a spirit of engagement bring us together and keep us together.
When new organizations apply for membership, alignment on three core policies is considered most closely. While by no means the only policies needed to improve a state’s school system, we have learned that alignment on these three issues tends to predict broader alignment on education reform, including a willingness to challenge the status quo to improve outcomes for students.
The core policy commitments of PIE Network members are:
- Support for measurement-based system accountability for performance against high standards.
- Belief that differentiation of teacher performance should be based in part on student growth.
- Commitment to ensuring real, timely choices for families, including charters and other innovative options.
An organization may be working aggressively on only one or two of these policies in a given year and could still demonstrate alignment with the other policy areas, even if they aren’t the highest immediate priorities. To determine alignment, initial information provided by the organization in the application will be considered, as well as positions that the organization has taken over time, including evidence that the organization has not in the past actively worked against any of the core policy commitments.
Benefits of Membership
1. You’ll be connected.
Membership in the Network connects you to a world outside your own.
Fellow members are working on what you’re working on. They’ve been through what you’re going through. They understand the challenges of your unique role in a way no one else can. Your work is seen and validated. You’ll be less isolated. You’ll get needed perspective.
2. You’ll think bigger.
Membership in the Network shifts your thinking and expands your mind.
The Network brings together the people you need to know. A nonpartisan group with diverse perspectives, members come at the same issue from different angles, in an environment that supports risk tasking and challenging conversation. Members value success and failure equally, so you’ll learn from their mistakes and their wins. These are some of the most productive, high-value relationships you’ll ever have.
This broader context keeps you in the know about what’s going on across the county. You’re more informed. You’ll know how your state’s efforts stack up. With new leverage and pressure points, you’ll be more savvy and influential back home.
3. You’ll work smarter.
Membership in the Network makes everyone smarter and more efficient. Members share their best work, sharpest tools, and strongest ideas, helping each other save money, time, and resources. You won’t have to reinvent the wheel. You’ll actually improve the wheel.
The Network is also a great sounding board, truth teller, and reality check. Your advocacy work will have greater impact in the real world—not just the white paper, wonky, think tank-y world.
To operate well—more efficiently and effectively—is to move your agenda forward. You’ll be more successful and have greater impact. Belonging to the Network helps all members deliver on their mission.
4. You’ll give back.
Membership in the Network provides you with opportunities to lead—to give as well as get. It’s a two way street. While you’re learning you’re also teaching.
You are a treasure trove of information. There is always someone in the Network who needs what you know. Who can benefit from your experience and unique point of view. When you share your wisdom and help other members, you develop as a leader while the Network strengthens.
Membership gives you the opportunity to contribute to the movement in ways that are even bigger than your own mission.
Costs and Requirements
There are no monetary dues to join PIE Network. There are, however, two significant organizational commitments members are asked to make (detailed below), which will be reviewed annually:
Participation of lead executive
The organizations working together through the Network know that the Network’s value is built through a commitment to giving as well as getting value. This means a commitment to be present to support other colleagues as well as benefiting from the support of colleagues from across the country. The lead executive of the organization should be committed enough to membership to prioritize attending at least one event per year (including the spring executive’s meeting, the fall summit, or other Network working meeting). Engagement is reviewed annually and nonparticipating organizations risk losing membership if a clear pattern of disengagement is evident.
Participation in two annual survey requests
In general, the Network’s team is careful about how often we tap members with information requests such as Network-wide surveys. We ask for participation in two surveys: one asks about legislative and policy work advanced during the year (conducted annually in the summer) and the other is a brief survey of upcoming policy priorities (conducted annually in the winter). These surveys help connect members with others working on similar issues, elevate issues of collective priority to drive toward solutions and supports, and help Network policy partners know where to invest the most in new policy resources.
The membership process initiates every year in late spring. Please contact Sarah, PIE Network Deputy Executive Director for Program Strategy, with questions on membership.