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Teaching Policy Fellowship Illinois

Training Illinois teachers to improve the teaching profession and the outcomes for our neediest students.

Teach Plus Illinois offers Teaching Policy Fellowships to outstanding teachers in the state looking to deepen their knowledge of education policy and gain a voice in decisions that directly affect students and the teaching profession.

What is the Teach Plus Illinois Fellowship?

  • Fellows receive training through expert-led modules and direct engagement with experts in education policy and key decision makers. 
  • Fellows expand their influence without leaving the classroom.
  • Fellows use a blended learning approach with a combination of monthly virtual meetings in the evening and two weekends a year in Springfield.  
  • Fellows receive a stipend for their commitment. ​​

What does Teach Plus do?

Teach Plus trains teachers in understanding education policy as a lever for student success, community organizing and outreach, promoting teacher voice through writing op-eds and speaking to the media, providing public testimony, and more. We work to create and connect teachers to opportunities to lead in real ways at the policy level. 

How does it work?

Teach Plus Illinois recruits and selects Teach Plus Illinois Teaching Policy Fellows from across the state to participate in the highly-selective fellowship. Fellows are trained to engage with state legislators and advocate for change at the state level. With this training, Fellows are able to help mobilize their peers around top issues impacting the teaching profession in Illinois and nationally. Teach Plus works with key stakeholders and policymakers in the state to inform the conversation and influence outcomes. 

During SY2016-2017 Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellows:

  • Helped shape Illinois’ ESSA plan. ISBE’s final ESSA plan incorporates 15 of our Fellows’ 16 recommendations, by testifying 13 times at ISBE hearings, serving on state ESSA work groups, and publishing two briefs on ESSA: A Seat at the Table and Expediting ESSA
  • Pushed Illinois toward a historic reform in education funding reform. Fellows met with 16 state legislators, both Republicans and Democrats, meth with at least 150 of their colleagues to educate them about funding reform, and organized a Rally and Footrace for Fair School Funding at the Capitol that drew a crowd of 400.
  • Appeared at least 38 times in print and media throughout the state.  Three teacher leaders appeared on Chicago Tonight, and teachers have appeared on radio (May 28) and television in Chicagoland and downstate.
  • Surveyed over 400 teachers to understand the implementation of Illinois’ School Discipline Reform law (SB100) from teachers’ perspectives.