Recommendation Three:
Encourage the inclusion of teachers in community, school, district, and state level discussions related to helping all students learn at the highest possible levels.


Role Group Strategies

Volunteer to serve on school, district, or state level committees and encourage fellow teachers to serve with you.  Make your voice part of the public debate by reaching out to elected officials.

Building Trusting Relationships for School Improvement:  Implications for Principals and Teachers
Brewster, C. and Railsback, J. (2003, September). By Request. Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory
This booklet addresses issues of trust between principals and teachers and among teachers themselves as an element of school improvement.  The authors draw on recent research and highlight several schools working on trust building, including a “critical friends group” established at Southridge High School in Beaverton, Oregon. 


Forms of Teacher Leadership
Paulu, Nancy & Winters, Kirk. (1998). Department of Education
In this section of Teachers Leading the Way: Voices from the National Teacher Forum , the authors describe 14 forms of teacher leadership ranging from taking part in school decision-making, to sharing ideas with colleagues to becoming politically involved. An example of actions from real teachers accompanies the definition of each role.

Redefining the Teacher as Leader
Usdan, M., McCloud, B., and Podmostko, M. (2001). Institute for Educational Leadership.
This report examines the potential power in enabling and encouraging teacher leadership.  It discusses roadblocks to teacher leadership, shares promising practices from districts around the country, and provides a list of “Suggested Questions” that communities can use to start discussions related to teacher leadership within their districts.

Leadership Matters:  Building Leadership Capacity
Barkley, S., Bottoms, G., Feagin, C.H., and Clark, S.  (2001).
This guide outlines practical strategies for building leadership capacity in schools that pertain to administrators, teachers, students, parents, and the community.  It also includes a description of the importance of establishing a shared vision and a checklist that can be used to evaluate the supports that a school has in place to encourage risk-taking by teachers and administrators.

Critical Issue: Building a Collective Vision
Peterson, K.  (1995). North Central Regional Educational Laboratory
The creation of a collective vision is critical to the success of any school.  Collective visions help to unite faculty, parents and community members behind a common goal and help to keep the complex work of schools focused and on track.  This website examines the importance of collective vision and walks through the process of establishing it.  Links are provided throughout the document, connecting to supporting documents and definitions related to the concept of shared vision.  Also included are links to illustrative cases and explanation of possible pitfalls.

To Teach, To Lead, To Transform
Threshold (Summer 2005) Cable in the Classroom
This article considers the role of the teacher leader in the future of school reform. The authors describe the type of roles teacher leaders take on within a school, discuss the necessity of including teacher leadership in teacher preparation programs, and give a variety of answers to the question “What makes a teacher leader?”

Be as informed as possible about the latest education research and data – subscribe to newsletters or listservs and visit key education websites periodically.

ASCD SmartBrief
The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development distributes a daily listserv highlighting important education news from across the nation. News highlights address topics ranging from promising new practices used by individual schools to policy changes under consideration by states or the federal government. This page allows readers to view a sample issue of SmartBrief and to sign up for the free listserv.

Education Week
In addition to highlighting articles from Education Week and Teacher Magazine, posts daily summaries of education news from newspapers across the nation.

PEN Newsblast
The Public Education Network sends out a free weekly newsletter with summaries of and links to the latest information on school reform. This page explains how to subscribe and provides links to current and past newsletters.

Teaching Quality: Best Practices and Policies (BestTQ)
Southeast Center for Teaching Quality
This newsletter offers detailed analysis of issues affecting teaching quality. Topics of past newsletters have ranged from implementation of No Child Left Behind's teaching quality mandates, to the public's opinion on the teaching profession, to teacher recruitment and retention.

Engage policymakers in conversations about education reform, so that they know what teachers need to ensure student success.

ASCD Capwiz Advocacy Toolkit
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. (2004).
These pages help those interested in education reform become involved in the policy-making process. The site provides links to elected officials, tracks current issues and legislation, and highlights important elections and candidates.  It also includes a feature that identifies the major media outlets serving every zip code and allows users to send an advocacy email directly from this site.

Making the connection: A guide to involving policymakers in a community dialogue on education
Guzman, J., Mutchler, S., Pan, D., and Pollard, J. (2000). Southwest Educational Development Laboratory.
Engaging policymakers in dialogue on education is a practical action step that communities can take to influence school reform.  This resource provides step by step instructions on creating effective community dialogue on education issues.

State Legislature Internet Links
National Conference of State Legislature
This database provides links to the homepages of all state legislatures. Visitors can also conduct a search for more specific categories of information, such as issue briefs, bills, or press rooms, for all fifty states.

Deliberating about Education:  A New Policy Tool?
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory. (1999, December).  Insights on Education Policy, Practice, and Research 10.
For fundamental changes to occur in American education, conversations must involve all stakeholders from policymakers to parents and teachers.  These types of conversations are often difficult to create and sustain because participants often don’t understand their own roles or the roles of others in the process of dialogue.  This article from the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory outlines a “long-standing model for public engagement known as deliberative dialogue.”  The document explores the potential of deliberative dialogue to enhance communication between policymakers and the public.


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