Memphis Teacher Extended as National Teacher Fellow

Monday, July 16th, 2012 

Hope Street Group announces the extension of Memphis teacher, Dru Davidson, as a Hope Street Group National Teacher Fellow. The National Teacher Fellowship is a competitive program designed for teacher leaders wanting to share their expertise, experience and ideas in helping to shape education policy nationwide. Dru is one of six selected educators serve as representatives of Hope Street Group to advocate for education policy changes, focusing on teacher evaluation, to both policymakers and other educators across the country. Hope Street Group is a national bipartisan organization whose mission is to mobilize our country’s problem solving capacity to expand economic prosperity for all Americans.

Dru Davison, who is chair of the Tennessee Fine Arts Growth Measures Development Committee, is Arts Administrator for Memphis City Public Schools. He has a wide range of experience as a performer and educator. Dru has taught instrumental music and early childhood music in Arkansas, Texas, and Tennessee. In addition to Pre-K–12, he taught at Arkansas State University (adjunct-jazz and saxophone) and the University of North Texas (teaching fellow-music education). He has presented professional development workshops at state and national conferences and has research published in journals such as the Journal of Band Research and Research in Music Education.

Monique Nadeau, President and CEO of Hope Street Group said, “Hope Street Group’s Teacher Fellow Program allows teachers not just a seat at the table but a voice that others want to hear. Their experiences and input help to influence policy, and decision-makers are quickly learning that engaging with teachers is not something they have to do, but something they should do in order to make the comprehensive decisions. Dru and his colleagues should be proud of their accomplishments so far.”

To date, Hope Street Group Teacher Fellows have engaged both state and federal policymakers in conversations about education policy, written op-eds and letters to the editor for major newspapers like the New York Times, and developed recommendations and solutions for overcoming obstacles impeding the implementation of fair and comparable teacher evaluation systems. Their hard work has led to the development of the Hope Street Group Teacher Evaluation Playbook, an online toolkit of best practices from states like Race to the Top winners, Tennessee and Delaware, for those states in the beginning stages of teacher evaluation reform, looking for guidance on where to start and what to do.

Says Dru, “We face complex issues in education and have significant opportunities for success, particularly for children living in poverty. I believe the answers currently exist, but they are separated like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Hope Street Group paves the way for collaboration and innovation so that the pieces come together to form a complete picture that points toward whole child development.”

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