U.S. Department of Education Announces New England Regional Teacher Leadership Initiative

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U.S. Department of Education Announces New England Regional Teacher Leadership Initiative

Teachers meet to share knowledge and help shape educational policy

April 6, 2009

Four of the U.S. Department of Education's Classroom Teaching Ambassadors from Maine, Rhode Island and Massachusetts have launched a new effort, the New England Regional Teacher Leadership Initiative, to help teachers have a voice in education policy development. The initiative will encourage New England teachers to network and learn about educational policy making on the federal, state and local levels so they can participate in shaping educational policies that affect their work.

The teacher ambassadors, with the support of the Department's Office of Innovation and Improvement and its Region I Office, held a one-day conference on April 4, 2009 in Boston. Approximately 24 teachers from the New England states attended, including state Teachers of the Year and other national award-winning teachers. They discussed inclusion, building community partnerships, developing teacher leaders and a number of other challenging issues.

"Teachers are the most important factor for student success, and no one knows more about teaching and learning than teachers themselves," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "I welcome input about improving our programs and policies from teachers around the country."

The mission of the New England Regional Teacher Leader Initiative is to empower teachers to make positive change in education policy. The initiative aims to:

  • Train teacher leaders to be active voices in their school districts, towns, cities and states;
  • Create relationships among teachers across the region so that they can contribute to changes in education beyond the walls of their classrooms; and
  • Establish teacher leaders as credible resources for media and policy makers in order to make the teacher's voice better heard and understood.

The Teaching Ambassador Fellowship Program is designed to tap into teachers' knowledge and experience, and to enable outstanding teachers to participate in the national dialogue about education. Washington Fellows serve as paid full-time federal employees in Washington, D.C., for one school year. They are placed in appropriate positions within the Department to work on education programs and policy development and implementation. Classroom Fellows continue to teach in their classrooms and are paid to perform additional Fellowship duties for the Department for one school year.

For more information on the New England Regional Teacher Leader Initiative, visit http://www.nertli.org/

For more information on the Teacher Ambassador Fellowship, visit http://www.ed.gov/programs/teacherfellowship/