Educator Voice Opportunities: Indiana Teaching Policy Fellowship
Teach Plus engages excellent, experienced teachers in both policy and practice, running fellowships designed to help teachers develop policy recommendations and advocacy steps on issues critical to the profession and equitable educational opportunities for students from low-income families.
Teach Plus Indiana’s current initiatives include the statewide Teaching Policy Fellowship, the Indianapolis Teaching Policy Fellowship, and the TLPL Change Agent instructional practice fellowship in Indianapolis. Since the first Indianapolis Teaching Policy Fellowship launched in 2009, more than 250 Indiana educators have taken part in Teach Plus Indiana’s policy fellowships and practice programs.
The Teaching Policy Fellowship is a highly selective program that offers excellent teachers the opportunity to expand their influence and advocate for changes that improve student outcomes across the education system. Fellows engage with key education stakeholders and policymakers in addition to receiving extensive training in policy, advocacy, and storytelling. In recent years, Indiana Teaching Policy Fellows have trained more than 300 Indianapolis educators in advocacy storytelling, conducted a compensation simulation with 150 IPS teachers, and testified at IPS school board meetings.
What have been your organization’s biggest accomplishments while exploring educator voice work?
We have done policy work around teacher mentoring and teacher residency. In 2016, teachers published a policy brief that advocated for residency programs in districts. In 2017, Teach Plus teachers advocated passing HB 1449, which established a pilot teacher mentoring program and pilot teacher residency program at the state level. Now, in 2018, the Indiana Department of Education is tasked with the responsibility to create a pilot implementation. In the next policy memo, teachers have outlined key recommendations that they think should be implemented throughout the state.
Teach Plus Indiana has also done significant work around state assessments. Since 2017, we have supported recommendations for the new state assessment. In 2016, teachers served on a state panel to think about what needs to change in the new state assessment and have the opportunity to have a voice on the panel. Teachers testified, wrote op-eds, and invited state legislators to visit a school to meet with teachers, parents, and administrators about the bill. Teach Plus Indiana teachers also helped make critical changes to the assessment, such as computer adaptive assessments and ensuring that teachers were able to help grade exam. The bill ultimately passed.
What advice do you have for other advocacy organizations thinking about engaging educators?
It’s important to clearly engage teachers but also engage other stakeholders, such as principals, families, and parents. By looking outside of the network, Teach Plus Indiana includes the broader teacher voice and parent voice. Opportunities for engaging the broader community are really important so that it’s not just a select few teachers and parents across the state.
- Addressing Indiana’s Quiet Teaching Crisis: A Sensible Blueprint for Progress
- Teacher Residency Models as a Form of Teacher Preparation
- Collaborative Paths to Quality Instruction: Policy Recommendations for Implementation of the Indiana State ESSA Plan
- Student Assessment & Teacher Induction policies case study
- Teacher Voices archive
- Teach Plus Online Courses: What Teachers Need to Know to Influence Policy Decisions
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.