Training teachers as advocates to ensure that teachers and students thrive in Arkansas
Teach Plus Arkansas is launching its teacher-led policy work in Arkansas with its inaugural statewide Teacher Policy Advisory Board. Over the course of the 2020-21 school year, the six outstanding teachers on the Advisory Board will be trained in policy and advocacy specially designed to help them develop the skills to advocate for changes for Arkansas students.
What is the Teach Plus Arkansas Teacher Policy Advisory Board?
- Board members receive training through expert-led modules, including Storytelling for Impact, Policy 101, Advocacy & Organizing, Evidence-Based Policymaking, Testifying and Meeting with Decision Makers, and Op-Ed Writing/Talking with the Media
- Board members directly engage with experts in education policy, key stakeholders, and policymakers.
- Board members expand their influence without leaving the classroom.
- Board members receive a $1,000 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 Arkansas recruits and selects Teach Plus Arkansas Teacher Policy Advisory Board members from across the state to participate in a year-long cohort experience. Board members become part of a larger movement of teacher leadership and help mobilize their peers around top issues impacting the teaching profession. Teach Plus works with key stakeholders and policymakers in the state to inform the conversation and influence outcomes.
In 2020-21, the Advisory Board will focus on two major policy issues in Arkansas:
- Early Childhood Education: Board members will participate in a statewide Early Education coalition task force to create policy platform that ensures Arkansas has sustainable funding to create a strong start for children while also working with a large district in the state to analyze and update its recruitment/messaging for its pre-K enrollment program.
- Recruitment & Retention of Teachers of Color: By conducting teacher focus groups with teachers of color from across the state, board members will write a policy brief to share with state and local policymakers to advocate for recruitment, hiring, and support practices that eliminate barriers to entering and staying in the profession.
Nationally Teach Plus Teacher Leaders have:
- Met with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office
- Shaped state plans across the U.S. for the Every Student Succeeds Act
- Joined U.S. Secretaries of Education as part of the U.S. Department of Education’s official delegation to the International Summit on the Teaching Profession
- Been published or featured in Education Week, the Associated Press, major local news publications, and have appeared on National Public Radio and local and national and local television outlet