Educator Voice Opportunities: CLASS Project
The Chalkboard Project was an early leader in making sure educators are included at the decisionmaking table. Through several key initiatives, the organization works alongside educators to create a real sense of ownership while designing and implementing transformational change. With an emphasis on teacher career ladders and professional development opportunities, Chalkboard’s teacher-led pilots drive cultural shifts in schools and districts by building trust and improving communication and transparency. Chalkboard also builds its policy priorities based on its pilots’ efforts, emerging best practices, hard data, and lessons learned.
Launched in 2008, the CLASS Project offers opportunities for educators to weigh in on four key areas for teacher effectiveness: new career paths, meaningful performance evaluations, relevant professional development, and expanded compensation models. In districts that participate in the CLASS Project, educators can join design teams and, with the support of coaches, develop blueprints for change related to the four teacher effectiveness components.
What have been your organization’s biggest accomplishments while exploring educator voice work?
The accomplishments are two-fold. First, this work has shifted the culture in schools and districts, from a top-down approach to one that is collaborative and supportive. Empowering teachers and creating teacher leadership opportunities has changed the conversation in schools, broken down barriers and silos, and created a shared vision for improving better learning and teaching environments for students and teachers. Second, this work shifted the conversation in our state from never-ending funding battles to evidence-based discussions about educator quality, accountability, and student achievement. It has led to many advocacy and policy reforms, and to a commitment at the state level for ongoing and expanded support for our educator workforce to ensure transformation and innovation in teaching practices and the teaching profession.
What advice do you have for other advocacy organizations thinking about engaging educators?
Educators must be authentic partners in any effort and they must drive the process.
- The CLASS Project: Empowering Educators, Raising Student Achievement
- TeachOregon: Lessons Learned, Promising Practices, and Recommendations for the Future
The topics below represent this member’s recent priorities, as they’ve reported through the annual PIE Network legislative and policy survey. If no priorities are listed, this member is new to the Network and/or has not yet participated in this survey. For much greater detail about all PIE Network members’ recent campaigns, members can access the PIE Network Policy Map here. If you have questions on the PIE Network legislative and policy survey or the Policy Map, contact Lukas.