Friday, July 4, 2014

A National Forum and the Value of Teacher Voice

Teachers, do you ever wish a governor, legislator, lobbyist, or other policymaker would ask your opinion about a national education issue? What if a group invited you to a forum with these individuals where trends and policies were discussed and you had the opportunity to participate? That's exactly what the Education Commission of the States National Forum is about.

The State Teachers of the Year were invited to participate in the ECS forum and provide the teachers' voice in policy matters. There were panels on civic education, early childhood education, teacher evaluations, school accountability, dual enrollment...the list goes on. Anything that seems like a trending topic was covered (check your blog feed, EdWeek, and twitter for trending topics).

The slides below were part of a plenary session led by Brandon Busteed of Gallup, the polling organization. Interestingly but not surprisingly, there is poll research showing the effect of principals' interest in and support of their teachers. Research also shows that the trajectory of school success begins with effective leadership.
Civic education, something that is very important to me and my classroom, received a share of attention. Montana's own Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau served on a panel with Massachusetts State Senator Richard Moore and National Council for the Social Studies President Michelle Herczog. It was fascinating to hear about the NCSS C3 (College, Career, and Civic Life) framework for civic education.
Montana's governor, Steve Bullock, was also elected chair of ECS for the next two years during this forum. I look forward to following the Governor's guidance of ECS.

I was so busy during the forum that I forgot to put my feather somewhere for a picture, so I found a place to hang it in the airport.


  1. Great post! Makes me wonder about what "effective leadership" truly looks like. I also wonder about outward principal support and the silent support. Sometimes there are mixed messages sent by decisions that are made.

  2. Here's Busteed's entire presentation. He doesn't define those things but you might be able to mine Gallup's website for more info.