Teacher Leaders Share Policy Insights and Lessons Learned

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014
Press Contact:
Maureena Thompson
April 22, 2014


Washington, DC – Hope Street Group, a national nonpartisan, nonprofit organization known for working with teachers to impact education policy, today released its new report, “Engaging Teachers in Policy Development.”

In the report, Dr. Tabitha Grossman, Hope Street Group’s Director of Education Policy and Research, details the experiences of the organization’s 2013 cohort of National Teacher Fellows and their yearlong policy projects.

Through summary and synthesis, the publication explores the challenges and successes of each teacher fellow, illustrating a number of policy insights relevant to improving teacher development and classroom performance. Among the themes explored in the report are the value of teachers engaging with policymakers at regional and state levels, the importance of building strong teacher networks and the influential role data collection can play in informing best practices.

One of the main takeaways of the assessment is the profound influence participating in policy discussions had on the teachers involved; not only were they inspired to view classroom issues from a broader perspective, but they also felt more empowered to drive meaningful changes in their own districts.

“Every teacher should be exposed to local, state, and federal legislation and learn that they have the power to positively influence change through hard work and perseverance,” said Teacher Fellow Tammie Schrader, a middle school science teacher from Washington state.

Hope Street Group National Teacher Fellows are classroom teachers and instructional coaches who contribute their ideas and expertise to help shape national education policy. Selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants, they spend a year contributing 15-20 hours per month to fellowship-related work, while also teaching full time in the classroom.

Throughout their fellowship year, Teacher Fellows are trained in writing, media strategy and political discourse. They engage their peers, address teacher concerns, create new resources for their schools and districts, and advocate on behalf of themselves and other educators. As outstanding leaders in their field, they will continue to carry forward and expand the mission of the fellowship in their classrooms for years to come.

The 2013 Fellows will travel to Washington, DC on May 8 to share their work and experiences, along with the new report, with federal policymakers.

The National Teacher Fellowship is an integral part of Hope Street Group’s Education Program, which seeks to transform the teaching profession to improve outcomes for students.

The 2013 fellowship program, as well as the publication of “Engaging Teachers in Policy Development,” was made possible with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Hope Street Group Board of Directors, the Voya Foundation, the Rodel Foundation of Delaware, and CityBridge Foundation.

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