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Teaching Policy Fellowship California

Teach Plus California offers two 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.

Launched in 2011, the Los Angeles Teaching Policy Fellowship offers excellent teachers an unprecedented opportunity to influence key education policy issues. 

Our newly-launched California State Policy Fellowship trains teachers to engage with state legislators and advocate for change at the state level. Learn more about the California State Policy Fellowship here.

The Los Angeles Teaching Policy Fellowship: The Impact
Los Angeles Fellows have authored op-eds and published policy briefs on key issues such as California’s tenure, dismissal and layoff policies. The Fellows have also met with and provided feedback to dozens of policy makers around issues of concern to teachers and the teaching profession.  To date, nine Teach Plus Fellows have been selected as LAUSD Teacher of the Year.
Since 2011, Policy Fellows have:

  • Delivered a teacher-led Common Core Conference for 1,500 teachers with a waitlist of close to 2,000 (August 2013)
  • Utilized a direct union petition initiative to bring online voting to UTLA (May 2014)
  • Led a first-of-its-kind “Testing the Test” event which brought together LA teachers to critically examine the Smarter Balanced assessments (May 2015)
  • Conducted a survey on over 500 California principals’ views on teacher layoff policies, published in the report “Not So Golden: Principals’ Views on California Teacher Layoff Policies”

Our Cohorts of Policy Fellows
The Los Angeles Teaching Policy Fellowship launched in the midst of a debate on several key policy issues such as teacher evaluation, use of test scores, and student growth measures. Over the past few years, we have continued to focus on issues that matter most, including teacher-led, Common Core-aligned professional development, quality of next generation (Smarter Balanced) assessments, teacher staffing issues addressed in the Vergara case, and the direction of teacher prep programs, among others. 

The Los Angeles Teaching Policy Fellowship Experience
The Fellowship brings together 25-30 highly qualified current classroom teachers in monthly in-person meetings to focus on the following:

  • Education Policy Training:  All Fellowship meetings include a policy training module presented by an expert in the field.  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
  • Direct Engagement with Key Education Policy Makers: Fellowship meetings typically include a discussion with a leading policy maker.   In the past, Fellows have met with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and UTLA President Alex Caputo Pearl, among many others.  Fellows have also had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with policy makers on the federal and state level. Fellows have met with Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Ted Lieu, Rep. Ben Allen, Rep. Mark Takano, and a number of policy makers in Washington, D.C. 
  • Development/Advocacy of Education Policy: Fellows work in small groups around a particular area of policy interest to shape and develop education policy that elevates the teaching profession and meets the needs of urban students.  In the past, groups of Fellows have worked on policy briefs related to Common Core, teacher preparation, and Vergara-related issues, among others.