Sunday, July 31, 2016

Learning Forward: #agents4learning

This month I was honored to lead a team of educators from Minnesota as part of the Agents for Learning Competition hosted by Learning Forward and the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (NCTAF). All teams travelled to Chicago to present their vision and recommendations for effective professional learning under Title II of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The competition represented a collaborative effort not just between program hosts and sponsors, but also between teachers, districts and states. There were 12 teams selected as finalists, representing a total of 56 teachers, administrators and education leaders. Each team received targeted coaching from program sponsors, including the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Center for American Progress, Educators 4 Excellence, Hope Street Group, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, National Education Association (NEA), and Teach Plus.

After each final presentation, a panel of distinguished educators and leaders offered feedback and constructive critiques for moving recommendations forward. The panel included Stephanie Banchero, Program Director for the Education Program of the Joyce Foundation, Jahana Hayes, 2016 National Teacher of the Year, Chris Minnich, Executive Director of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and Rachel Wise, the Chair of the Nebraska Board of Education.

If you're interested in watching the final team presentations, the two-hour webcast is available online at http://www.learningforward.org/agentslivestream. My presentation starts at 1:07:30.

After all teams had presented, we were ushered into a beautiful awards ceremony where each team was given a specific award, along with some swag from Corwin Press, Scholastic and Learning Forward. My team, Twin Cities Teachers, won the award for "Most Clear and Ready for Action." All-in-all, this experience was a tremendous opportunity to network and learn from teacher leaders across the country and to provide key stakeholders with practical recommendations from practicing teachers. Win-win!