Our work in Colorado began with several teachers in the state named Fellows of the 2013/14 National Education Association/Teach Plus Future of the Profession Policy Fellowship. Upon completing the Fellowship, Fellows wrote a national report, Rock the Union: An Action Plan to Engage Early Career Teachers and Elevate the Profession. Several of the Fellowship’s alums from Colorado then went on to implement the ideas in Rock The Union in their local unions as Change Agent Fellows in the inaugural 2015-16 Local Change Agent Fellowship.
The newly-launched 2016-17 Colorado State Teaching Policy Fellowship builds on the work of the Local Change Agent Fellowship.
The Fellowship Experience
The Colorado State Teaching Policy Fellowship is a highly selective leadership opportunity for outstanding teachers looking to deepen their knowledge of education policy and gain a voice in decisions that affect students and the teaching profession.
The Fellowship kicks off with an in-person meeting, followed by monthly virtual sessions. Fellows receive training through expert-led modules and through direct engagement with key stakeholders. Topics include:
- Education policy as a lever for student success
- Advocacy, including op-ed writing, testifying, and speaking with elected officials and members of the media
- Current and relevant issues in education policy
Fellows commit to be in the Fellowship for a full year and receive a stipend of $1,500. Fellows must attend the in-person kickoff and be able to attend monthly virtual meetings.
About Our Policy Fellows
Colorado Fellows have focused on helping their associations evolve to better meet the needs of teachers. They produced a policy brief to outline their ideas and then worked at the local association level to bring these ideas to life. Fellows have worked on advocating for their local associations to prioritize teaching and learning issues and helped reallocate funding to support teacher leadership roles. They have expanded teacher voice within the associations, improved communication with membership, and increased member engagement.
Colorado Policy Fellows have:
- Participated in writing Rock the Union
- Produced a policy brief advocating for increasing teacher-led professional learning in Aurora Public Schools
- Developed a union-run teacher-led professional learning program and written op-eds to advocate for this model of professional learning:
Our Fellows are recognized across Colorado as leaders within their schools, unions, and communities: 13 Fellows have taken on one or many leadership role within their local association, state association and/or national association.