Hawaii Partners with National Nonprofit to Engage Teachers

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Exceptional teacher leaders selected by Hope Street Group will be trained in peer and community engagement, data collection and media strategies –all with the intent of sharing information with the community about the Hawaii Common Core standards.

HONOLULU –The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) and the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) today announced a State Teacher Fellowship program in partnership with Hope Street Group, a national nonprofit known for its teacher engagement work. Hope Street Group’s collaborative efforts will center on connecting teacher and community voice to the implementation of the Common Core State Standards in Hawaii.

Through the partnership, a cohort of exceptional teacher leaders, selected and trained by Hope Street Group, will serve as Hawaii State Teacher Fellows for one year, with the option to continue for additional school years. They will be trained in peer and community engagement, data collection and media strategies –all with the intent of sharing information with the community about the Hawaii Common Core standards. Fellows will also collect data from their peers to present to the DOE, the Hawaii State Board of Education and state policymakers. The data collected will be used to inform Hawaii Common Core implementation..

Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi says the DOE and its partners welcome Hope Street Group to the state.

“Support and training are critical for teacher growth and success. An essential part of empowering great teachers is enabling them to use their voices to affect change,” said Matayoshi. “We’ve already seen a number of teachers implementing creative lessons based on Hawaii Common Core and this is an opportunity for us to work with more teachers to shape the next phase of implementation.”

“When it comes to ensuring our teachers have the tools, knowledge and networks necessary to thrive in the classroom, partnerships such as this one with Hope Street Group are invaluable. By working together to overcome obstacles, we can set an example for the nation of impactful educator empowerment,” said HSTA President Wil Okabe.

Hawaii’s partnership is similar to Hope Street Group’s successful State Teacher Fellows program currently operating in Kentucky.

“The privilege to work with state partners in Hawaii has afforded us a unique and important opportunity to enhance peer-to-peer leadership among teachers in the state,” said Dan Cruce, vice president of education at Hope Street Group. “We believe building trust and instilling ownership in reforming education will elevate the teaching profession and the expectations for teacher engagement in the long term. This important work is intended to build teacher leadership skills and ultimately help ensure students in Hawaii are prepared for college and career success.”

Hope Street Group’s collaborative efforts in Hawaii are made possible by the generous support of the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation.

Teachers interested in the Hope Street Group Hawaii Fellowship may access application materials at: apply.hopestreetgroup.org.

About Hope Street Group
Founded on South Hope Street in Los Angeles, Hope Street Group is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunity and prosperity for all Americans. A coalition of the reasonable, we are committed to helping further innovative and collaborative reform efforts in education, health and jobs & workforce. www.hopestreetgroup.org 

About the Hawaii State Department of Education
The Hawaii State Department of Education is the ninth-largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 255 schools and 33 charter schools, and serves more than 185,000 students.  King Kamehameha III established Hawaii’s public school system in 1840. The DOE is in the midst of a range of historic efforts to transform its public education system to ensure graduates succeed in college or careers. To learn more, visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.

About the Hawaii State Teachers Association
The Hawaii State Teachers Association is the exclusive representative of more than 13,500 public school teachers statewide. As the state affiliate of the more than 3-million-member National Education Association, HSTA represents and supports teachers in collective bargaining, as well as with legislative and professional development issues.

Original press release here.

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