Federal lawmakers need to hear from Learning Forward members and network partners to ensure that professional learning is a policy priority. They need to know that professional learning, and in particular Title IIA, deserves their full attention and support now more than ever. As educators and students struggle to recover from the setbacks of the pandemic, high-quality professional learning is a path forward for equipping educators with the knowledge and skills they need. High-quality professional learning is a strong tool for retaining teachers that must be adopted by schools and districts during this era of critical shortages.

On Sept. 14, Learning Forward will host Learning Forward’s Virtual Advocacy Day, a free virtual event to help school and district educators and leaders prepare to make their personalized and compelling cases for policy and funding. These advocacy skills will help educators to sustain professional learning that is high-quality — standards-aligned, ongoing, and job-embedded.

Virtual Advocacy Day will offer a focused, interactive forum to inform and energize educators to make the case for professional learning as a solution for problems they are trying to address in their state or district. There will be a focus on collecting and presenting data and evidence of the impact of high-quality professional learning so that decision makers clearly understand how good policy and robust funding can help to address education needs.

The morning is focused on honing advocacy skills that all educators can use. Starting at 11 a.m. (EST), Learning Forward President and CEO Frederick Brown will set the charge for the day and kick off a session of education leaders assembled to share their experiences in successful advocacy. We will share tips with attendees who want to strengthen their advocacy and storytelling muscles.

In the afternoon, U.S.-based attendees can sign up to put those advocacy skills into practice in meetings with key staff from the Congressional offices representing their states and districts. This is a great opportunity to share compelling stories of professional learning making an impact for their constituencies. The timing is particularly important as the U.S. House and Senate will be working to finalize Fiscal 2023 funding appropriations, including Title IIA, this fall.

It’s going to be a full day and one that we hope you can take part in. I invite you to check out our advocacy website, Powered by Title II, to get up-to-date information, fact sheets, news, talking points, and social media posts that make the clear point that Title IIA improves schools and instruction in the classroom.

Attending Virtual Advocacy Day is just one of many ways to take an active role in Learning Forward’s advocacy practice. The focus is on helping policymakers to understand the critical role that professional learning plays in education, thereby strengthening federal education policy and investment for professional learning. The Standards for Professional Learning are another critical tool in our advocacy toolkit. By sharing research and facts around professional learning that is aligned to Standards for Professional Learning, the result is greater support for ongoing, job-embedded, systemic professional learning that results in equitable and improved outcomes for all students.

Millions of teachers, principals, and school leaders depend on #TitleIIA to improve schools and instruction in the classroom. I am in alliance w/ @LearningForward when I ask Congress to support an additional $100 million in FY 2023 for #TitleIIA. Click To Tweet

In April, as Learning Forward was preparing to release its newest iteration of Standards for Professional Learning, we invited policymakers, practitioners, and researchers to share how the standards deepen critical connections between policy and practice and contribute to systems for professional learning that result in high-quality, ongoing, collaborative, and job-embedded professional learning for teachers and leaders. On April 27, our experts participated in this virtual roundtable discussion, sharing how evidence-based, community-informed principles, structures, and tools at the system level can make a difference in recruiting and retaining teachers and leaders and increasing student achievement. We have made this session available to everyone as part of our permanent collection of standards webinars. I invite you to watch the recording if you haven’t already.

We are here for our members and community stakeholders as you navigate strategies to attract resources to your districts. And as always, we invite you to share your stories with us so we can add them to our growing collection.

Melinda George
(melinda.george@learningforward.
org) is chief policy officer at Learning
Forward.