Learning Forward Advocacy
Petition: A Recommitment to Education and Professional Learning
Educators have felt the pain of the past year acutely. We urge policymakers to recognize that educators require critical investments to educate every student. Our students are experiencing our nation’s longstanding inequities more acutely than ever. The pandemic compounds our collective need for support.
Now is the time for a new beginning. Education must be a focal point of government efforts to come together, heal, and improve our world. Only when every student enjoys access to great teaching and learning will we have a thriving, equitable, and just society.
Therefore, we call on local, state, and federal governments to appropriately devote substantial resources towards the following educational priorities:
- Emergency COVID relief funding for schools and school districts
- Effective, job-embedded, and ongoing professional learning delivered using technology tools
- Social and emotional supports for educators and students
- Home broadband connectivity and appropriate learning devices for all educators and students
Every educator has the right to experience great learning every day. Every student has the right to experience great teaching every day. Our future depends on it.
Title II–A grants provide states and school districts with a flexible source of funding to strengthen the skills and knowledge of teachers, principals, and administrators to enable them to improve student achievement. The committee is supportive of efforts to strengthen school leadership through the Title II–A program. Research has consistently demonstrated that school leadership is second only to classroom instruction as an influence on student learning, and 97 percent of teachers say that the principal is responsible for determining if a school can attract and retain great teachers. The committee particularly takes note of the fact that, under ESEA, states may reserve approximately three percent of their Title II–A formula allocations to carry out activities for principals and other school leaders and encourages states to make use of this optional reservation so as to maximize the impact of the Title II–A program. The committee directs the department to encourage, through guidance or technical assistance, SEAs to utilize the school leader three percent Title II–A set-aside to better drive school improvement efforts.The full House is expected to vote on this bill before August. Learning Forward gives a special shout out to Congressman Ro Khanna (CA-17) and Senator Tammy Baldwin (WI) for their op-ed in last week’s Time Magazine, “We Must Invest in Teachers to Prevent COVID-19 From Exacerbating the Racial Educational Divide.” In this op-ed, Rep. Khanna and Sen. Baldwin champion federal support for professional development for educators, particularly during this pandemic. They acknowledge that teachers are the most important school-based factor in student success and, as such, an investment in professional learning is critical. They call on the federal government to be a partner in supporting teachers as they support the needs of their students. Funding to support these unprecedented times in education is imperative and using those funds to invest in professional learning will yield positive results for students. We thank Rep. Khanna and Sen. Baldwin for using their voice and leadership to elevate this important issue.
Evidence, evidence, evidence
Evidence of impact is not optional. From your ESSA plans to Title II to talking with your district superintendent, everyone wants to know when professional development is making an impact and how you know. Learning Forward is here to help. We invite you to join your peers from across the U.S. to share your successes here.
Tell us what Title II funds in your school or district, and most important, what outcomes you see as a result. Outcomes might include improved graduation rates or assessment scores, improvements for specific populations of students, or other indicators that students are experiencing more meaningful learning.
A New Vision For Professional Learning: A Toolkit to Help
States Use ESSA to Advance Learning and ImprovementSystems. This toolkit helps leaders leverage professional learning as
an essential tool in overcoming systemic inequities and guaranteeing
excellence for all.
Agents for Learning Toolkit: A Guide to Amplifying Teacher
Voice and Stakeholder Engagement. This toolkit suggests ways to cultivate teacher voice and agency in policy decisions and the implementation of professional learning.
Webinar series: Speak up for Title II
Learning Forward hosted a series of advocacy webinars designed to help educators build their advocacy skills. Each free webinar provides background information, the legislative status of Title II, and offers practical steps for how you can engage in this critical fight.