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Teach Plus
Teach Plus empowers excellent, experienced teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success. We envision a day when excellent teachers are valued and drive the transformation of our education system to best serve high-need students.

Teach Plus' three flagship programs —Teaching Policy Fellowship, T3 Initiative, and C2 Initiative—are designed to engage and support teacher leaders in transforming the system. The programs are part of five city-based efforts (Chicago, Indianapolis, Memphis, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.), and two state-wide efforts (Maryland and Massachusetts). In 2014, we celebrated a milestone of selecting and training 1,000 teachers for leadership roles. Since our founding in 2009, Teach Plus has grown from 16 teachers to a network of more than 20,000 solutions-oriented teachers nationwide.

Entries by Teach Plus

Growing Students' Brains in the Summer

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2015 | 6:03 PM

2015-07-23-1437659999-3746917-AlfuthJonbw.jpg By Jon Alfuth

Growing up, I experienced one of public education's intractable problems between June and September -- the summer brain drain. It was like all that Algebra and English never happened. And worse yet, my enthusiasm for learning would wane during...

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Heeding Student Voices on PARCC

(0) Comments | Posted July 7, 2015 | 12:57 PM


By Bernadine Lormilus

Last month, over 200 people packed a State House hearing to testify on several bills that would put a moratorium on the use of standardized tests as graduation requirements and for school accountability, as well as to prevent the adoption...

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Defying the Odds Through Common Core and PARCC

(0) Comments | Posted July 6, 2015 | 12:01 PM


By Brittany Vetter

On July 7, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will conclude the five public hearings it is hosting before deciding whether to replace MCAS with PARCC next fall. Fall is also when I will discuss the concept of defying...

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For Effective Education Policy, Listen to Effective Teachers

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2015 | 11:25 PM

By Alice Johnson Cain
As a recent Washington Post article shows, two traditional allies -- the civil rights community and the nation's largest teachers union, the National Education Association -- are at odds over legislation to re-write the Elementary and...
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Bridging the Critical Gap Between Middle and High School

(0) Comments | Posted June 12, 2015 | 8:45 AM

By George Mueller

Anita's first semester in high school was a rough one. After the first month, she had five F's. The transition from middle school hit her particularly hard since many of her friends went to a different high school. Although...

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Closing the Education Gap for English-Language Learners

(3) Comments | Posted May 18, 2015 | 10:26 AM

2015-05-18-1431959240-7286447-lindey_mayer.pngBy Lindsey Mayer

It was my first year as a teacher and Wilson's first year as a student in the United States. He had arrived from Guatemala in September earlier that year.

Wilson was a special kid. And he said something...

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Reflections on the 2015 International Summit on the Teaching Profession

(0) Comments | Posted April 21, 2015 | 9:45 AM

2015-04-21-1429641974-2124797-jennifer_aponte1.png 2015-04-21-1429642002-7607043-gwendolin_bandi.png

By Jennifer Aponte and Gwendolin Bandi

As teacher leaders, we lead not only our classrooms but our profession. Our most recent opportunity to uplift teacher voice and influence change came at the U.S. Department of Education...

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Test Smarter

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2015 | 11:14 AM

By Jon Alfuth and Kate O'Connor

If you've walked into any public school in the last month, you've probably seen the signs of the testing season: bare walls, quiet hallways, groaning teachers and administrators, and yawning kids. It's become a national ritual in the nation's 99,000 public schools. But lately,...

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As ESEA Turns 50, the Fate of Our Most Vulnerable Students Hangs in the Balance

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2015 | 11:05 AM


By Casie Jones

As we mark the 50th anniversary of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), there is no question that assessment has become the hot topic. With Congress looking to amend ESEA -- Senate Education Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) and...

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Grade-Span Tests Are Not the Answer

(1) Comments | Posted April 7, 2015 | 8:45 AM


By Ronak Shah

Desmond came up to me on his way out of my sixth-grade science class. He asked, "How come we don't learn social studies, Mr. Shah?"

I asked him what he meant, a bit confused. After all, I knew they were...

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Teacher Urges Congress to Fund Students Now

(0) Comments | Posted April 2, 2015 | 10:34 AM

By Jacob Pactor

As Congress debates the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), members should pause before acting too fast. Since 1965, ESEA has provided extra money -- nearly $17 billion -- to create a more just learning field for children disadvantaged...

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Addressing PTSD Among Youth Is Central to Closing the Achievement Gap

(9) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 8:56 AM

2015-03-30-1427720153-278538-julija_zubac.pngBy Julija Zubac

Seemingly out of the blue, one of my favorite students cussed me out in the middle of class. I have spent hours building a relationship with him and felt hurt and defensive -- until I heard his story of...

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Student Progress and Teacher Improvement through State Annual Testing

(2) Comments | Posted March 23, 2015 | 10:36 AM

2015-03-23-1427121281-6465555-lisa_nguyen.pngBy Lisa Nguyen

Brandon became my student two years ago, when his family moved to Massachusetts from Georgia. This was in the middle of the school year. From his first day in my fifth-grade class, it was clear to me that he...

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Yearly Testing: A Must-Have for Teachers

(1) Comments | Posted March 5, 2015 | 9:03 AM

This week Teach Plus teachers nationwide comment on the reauthorization and key provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

By Chris Hofmann

When a student enters your classroom struggling in math or reading, every moment counts. This was the case...

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If We Are Not Growing Students, Why Teach?

(2) Comments | Posted March 4, 2015 | 12:19 PM

This week Teach Plus teachers nationwide comment on the reauthorization and key provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

2015-03-04-1425492952-4053970-dwight.jpgBy Dwight Davis

Think back to the last time you set a goal. What was the first thing you did? I'll...

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ESEA Reauthorization Should Include Annual Assessments

(0) Comments | Posted March 3, 2015 | 2:03 PM

This week, Teach Plus teachers nationwide comment on the reauthorization and key provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

By Micah Miner

On February 9, I was in Washington, D.C. as part of a six-teacher panel. We gathered on...

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Teacher to Congress: Title 1 Funding Helps Students and Families Fight Inequity

(0) Comments | Posted March 2, 2015 | 11:45 AM

This week Teach Plus teachers nationwide comment on the reauthorization and key provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

2015-03-02-corn_nikki.pngBy Nikki Corn

When he walked into my second-grade classroom at Chapelwood Elementary, I could tell that Jonathan was smart. He'd...

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Preparing Effective Teachers

(0) Comments | Posted February 9, 2015 | 9:13 AM

By Nicole Thorpe

Like so many teachers, when I first entered the classroom, I believed that I would be effective. Then I met Mohammed, and Jose, and Efrain. Mohammed was defiant. He refused to do work, disrupting the learning of my other...

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What Do Finland and Teach for America Have in Common?

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2015 | 10:51 AM


By Jon Alfuth

It was 2010, my senior year of college. I was young and idealistic, and I'd just made the decision to apply to Teach for America (TFA), an alternative certification program that recruits everyone from college graduates to professionals who...

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Essential Assessments

(0) Comments | Posted February 2, 2015 | 9:18 AM


By Clare Berke
If your family is anything like mine, conversations at the dinner table eventually move from pleasantries to politics. Recently, I was sitting in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio, with my in-laws and their close friends, when the subject...

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