ARLINGTON Va. — October 21, 2015 — U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced today that ASCD will join the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and the U.S. Department of Education as the third partner in Teach to Lead, which focuses on expanding opportunities for teacher leadership in ways that enhance student learning and make it possible for teachers to stay in the classroom while leading in the profession.
“We are happy to welcome ASCD as a partner in Teach to Lead and look forward to working with them and the National Board to advance teacher leadership,” said Duncan. “During this period of immense change in education, teachers are helping to catalyze great progress, including our nation’s record high school graduation rate, narrowed achievement gaps, and a larger, more diverse group attending college than ever before. This progress is possible because—across the country—teachers are leading from their classrooms and taking on new roles to improve education for all students. The teaching profession becomes stronger when teachers are empowered to lead—and when teaching is stronger, students benefit.”
“The entire team at ASCD is thrilled to become a partner in Teach to Lead and we look forward to advancing the effort and continuing the work that the Department of Education and National Board have done since the initiative was launched,” said ASCD President Matt McClure. “Teachers of all types and backgrounds―from those who have spent 30 years in the classroom to those new to the profession but full of ideas and ambition―need expanded opportunities for leadership. We will focus our efforts on providing resources, support and encouragement to make teacher leadership a reality for all educators who desire it.”
“I am delighted to welcome the ASCD team as a third partner in Teach to Lead, as we work to expand opportunities for teachers to lead without having to leave the classroom,” said Interim President and CEO Peggy Brookins of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. “ASCD has long provided expert and innovative ways to build the educational leadership essential to the way educators learn, teach and lead. Together, we will tap into the potential of accomplished teachers, spreading their expertise around the country to impact student achievement.”
ASCD will be the lead partner in the development of Teacher Impact Grants that will drive and fund teacher-led solutions that have the potential to create change at a school, district or state level. Projects, which will be directed by teachers throughout their life cycles, will build on classroom experience and success, implement strategies and promote collaboration and systemic change. These grants will transform the best ideas in education―those from the educators themselves―into action. Grantees will be required to provide regular status reports, as well as a final outcomes report. Duncan believes this new phase of Teach to Lead places teachers where they belong―at the table leading reform.
Last year at the Teaching & Learning conference, Duncan announced the new Teach to Lead initiative, co-convened with the National Board, to bring about fundamental changes in the culture of schools and the culture of teaching, so that teachers play a more central role in transforming teaching and learning, and in the development of policies that affect their work. This past year, the initiative hosted Teacher Leadership Summits in Louisville, Kentucky; Denver; Boston; Washington, D.C.; and Tacoma, Washington; inviting teachers to bring their ideas to advance teacher leadership at the school, district, state, and national levels, ideally without the need to give up teaching responsibilities.
Following the summits, Teach to Lead has been in contact with summit participants to hear about their progress, and has held nine Leadership Labs in a small number of communities across the country with more planned for this fall. These labs are designed as vehicles for conversations among the team of teachers who developed an idea with community members, local and state education officials, and supporting organizations to further the idea’s implementation. During Teach to Lead’s inaugural year, nearly 2,500 educators shared their teacher leadership ideas through an online community.
To date, Teach to Lead has attracted 87 supporter organizations, and the list continues to grow. Supporting organizations help advance Teach to Lead through a variety of activities, including social media awareness, participation in summits, sharing research, and providing additional resources and follow-up support to summit participants.
For more information about Teach to Lead and ways to become involved, visit teachtolead.org.