Advocacy to Watch: 2019 Eddies! Winners & Nominees
August 13, 2019

This page has been updated to reflect the 2019 winners, as well as the nominees, in each category.


One of our greatest strengths as a Network is working together to spread impact and know-how. In that spirit, the Eddies!—advocate-nominated awards—provide an annual opportunity to feature excellent policymaking and advocacy campaigns from the past year, telling the story of how education policy was advanced one state at a time.

Great advocates know that they don’t take credit for policy decisions—that belongs to policymakers.

At the same time, advocacy is tough work, and investments that yield outsized impact are worth spotlighting.

Please join us in recognizing the slate of talented advocates nominated for this year’s awards. A selection committee made up of nine state advocates and national partners selected top finalists in each category. Network members then cast their votes for the winners which were announced Thursday, September 26 at the PIE Network 2019 Summit.

  • Game Changer of the Year recognizes a member or partner state advocacy campaign that led to a truly game changing policy or protected a critical existing policy.
  • Network MVP honors leaders who consistently go above and beyond their job description to help their peers advance state policy.
  • Best Defense highlights campaigns that strategically defended important policy; sometimes the biggest wins are actually holding the line. This is the first time work has been recognized in this category.
  • Best Kept Secret honors big advances in (or defenses of) policy that didn’t get big press.
  • Most Actionable Research covers resources or tools that were widely applicable to state-level advocacy and broadly leveraged across the Network to help advocates make a compelling case for policy change.
  • Best Ensemble Cast features coalitions that were artfully organized to respond to particular opportunities or challenges in their states, contributed to a policy win, and are worthy of replication.

2019 Winners & Top Finalists

Game Changer of the Year

2019 Winner: Stand for Children Washington, Black Education Strategy Roundtable, Partnership for Learning, Democrats for Education Reform Colorado, and BEST NC: Reducing Barriers to Advanced Course Access for Underrepresented Students

Top Finalists

  • Colorado Succeeds: Supporting Multiple Pathways by Incentivizing Industry Credentials
  • Educate Texas, Texas Aspires, Teach Plus Texas, Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium, InvestEdTX Coalition (including Stand for Children Texas and more)Strategic and Equitable School Finance Reform
  • Foundation for Florida’s Future: Empowering Low- and Middle-Income Families in Florida with the Power of Choice
  • TennesseeCAN, American Federation for Children, Beacon Center of Tennessee, and Foundation for Excellence in Education: Creation of an Education Savings Account program

Learn more about the 2019 finalists and see a complete list of nominees in this category.

Network MVP

2019 Winner: Kenya Bradshaw, TNTP

Top Finalists

  • Jamie Woodson, Tennessee SCORE
  • Jessica Stewart, GO Public Schools
  • Robin Lake, Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE)
  • Scott Laband, Colorado Succeeds

Learn more about the 2019 finalists and see a complete list of nominees in this category.

Best Defense

2019 Winner: NewMexicoKidsCAN: Defense of High-Quality Assessments

Top Finalists

  • A+ Education Partnership (with Thomas B. Fordham Institute): Stop the ‘Abolish Common Core’ Bill in the Alabama Legislature
  • American Federation for Children and Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd): Successful Defense of the Scholarship Program in Nevada
  • EdAllies: Defending Tiered Licensure in Minnesota
  • Empower Illinois: Protecting School Choice for Low-income Illinois Students

Learn more about the 2019 nominees in this category.

Best Kept Secret

2019 Winner: The Education Trust-West, EdVoice, Teach Plus California, Data Quality Campaign: Long-Overdue Cradle to Career Student Data System in California

Top Finalists

  • BEST NC: Improving Principal Preparation and Principal Pay
  • ConnCAN and Educators for Excellence-Connecticut: Prioritizing Minority Teacher Recruitment and Retention
  • Tennessee SCORE, Tennesseans for Student Success, TennesseeCAN and the Tennessee Charter School Center: Preserving Reforms amid Leadership Turnover

Learn more about the 2019 finalists and see a complete list of all nominees in this category.

Most Actionable Research

2019 Winner: TNTP: The Opportunity Myth

Top Finalists

  • Data Quality Campaign (DQC): Growth Data: It Matters, and It’s Complicated
  • Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd): Five-Part CTE Playbook Series
  • GO Public Schools West Contra Costa: GO West Contra Costa’s Kids Can Report
  • National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ): A Fair Chance: Simple Steps to Strengthen and Diversify the Teacher Workforce

Learn more about the 2019 finalists and see a complete list of all nominees in this category.

Best Ensemble Cast

2019 Winner: Full Day K (DFER Colorado, Colorado Succeeds, Stand for Children Colorado, TeachPlus Colorado, Colorado League of Charter Schools): Full-Day K

Top Finalists

  • GeorgiaCAN and Foundation for Excellence in Education (and other non-Network partners): Career-Focused Computer Science Coursework
  • The Colorado Right To Know Coalition (A+ Colorado, Colorado League of Charter Schools, DFER Colorado, Students for Education Reform): Pushing for the release of more education data from the state
  • The Education Trust–New York and Educators for Excellence-New York: Policies that increase access for students of color to rigorous courses

Learn more about the 2019 finalists and see a complete list of all nominees in this category.

Winners in each category will be announced at the PIE Network Summit during the evening of Thursday, Sept. 26. Network members and partners can click here to submit their votes.

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    Ashley Schmidt

    Ashley is PIE Network's Senior Director of Member Engagement & Communications

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    Brandon Garcia

    My first PIE Summit experience was absolutely amazing! I got so much out of the session and networking, and I plan to come again, year after year!

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