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TNLI: Major Accomplishments

We are proud of the accomplishments at the Teachers Network Leadership Institute.

bullet Keynote Address: The Holmes Partnership Eighth Annual Conference
bullet Major Accomplishments by the MetLife Fellows
bullet Names of Policy Leaders or Influencers Involved in MetLife Fellows’ TNLI  
bullet Conferences and Workshops at which the MetLife Fellows Have Recently Presented and/or Participated
bullet Sample Comments and Observations on the Importance and Value of the MetLife Fellows' TNPI

bullet Highest-Level Recognition. The work of Teachers Network Policy Institute (TNPI) MetLife Fellows has received major recognition by policymakers and school leaders at the highest levels. Some prominent examples include: Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan's public endorsement of TNPI as "an outstanding opportunity to capitalize on the expertise of exemplary teachers to develop effective policies that strengthen student achievement;" and, direct mention of-and credit to-the Policy Institute in the Wyoming Governor's State of the State address (February 11, 2002). Also, United States Representative Lois Capps shares that she is "excited about the valuable work that is being undertaken by the MetLife Fellows; it is through the work of dedicated educators such as these individuals that important innovations in education policy occur." Moreover, U.S. Representative Charles B. Rangel is on record that "TNPI is to be commended for attempting to transform our schools into model learning environments that will contribute to the good of the nation, the city, and our own community."

bullet Bestselling TNPI Book. The newest TNPI book, Taking Action with Teacher Research, was published in January 2003 by Heinemann Press (i.e., our first book not published by Teachers Network); and, after only three weeks, it has gone into its second printing! This groundbreaking book, edited by Ellen Meyers and TNPI Advisor Frances Rust, contains six chapters focusing on action research studies conducted by six different TNPI MetLife Fellows (i.e., Jane Fung, Lara Goldstone, Janet Price, Carol Tureski, Natasha Warikoo, and Matt Wayne)-as well as two additional chapters (i.e., on TNPI work and the action research process) written by Meyers and Rust. More information on this book is available on the TNPI area of Teachers Network #1 award-winning web site at: www.teachersnetwork.org/tnli.

bullet Major Policy Document. In 2002, Teachers Network Policy Institute (TNPI) published a major policy document, Ensuring Teacher Quality-A Report from the MetLife Fellows in the Teachers Network Policy Institute. This report, geared toward school administrators, concentrates on teacher leadership and the process for engaging teachers in policy decisions at the school level and beyond. The document outlines four cogent recommendations for ensuring teacher quality-the single most important factor in determining student success-within any school environment. This year, this report has been disseminated to 5,000 school superintendents nationwide.

bullet What Matters Most Brochure. Based on the nationally recognized success of the MetLife Fellows' book, What Matters Most-Improving Student Achievement, in fall 2001, one of TNPI's partner organizations, the National Commission on Teaching & America's Future (NCTAF), published a color brochure-with funding from the Ford Foundation-that outlines: NCTAF Recommendations, the Voices of Teachers, MetLife Fellows' Research Findings and Recommendations, and specific Action Steps for Districts. What Matters Most-Improving Student Achievement features the work of the MetLife Fellows-documenting the results of their action research and highlighting the ways in which policy plays out in schools. This document has been read by thousands of policymakers and educators nationwide.

bullet MetLife Fellows as Contributing Writers. In New York City, not only are the MetLife Fellows influencing the media with regard to making sure that "the teacher's voice" is included in education policy discussions (in fact, the fellows recently met with education editors from both the New York Times and the New York Daily News), but also, based on their increased outreach, they have actually become contributing writers for a regular series of articles-based in the MetLife Fellows' research findings and specific policy recommendations-for the New York Teacher, the newspaper most regularly read by teachers and education officials throughout New York City.

bullet Direct Interactions with Policymakers. Increasingly, TNPI MetLife Fellows are seizing the opportunity to meet with national, state, and local legislators to share action research findings and policy recommendations in order to improve student achievement. Indeed, MetLife Fellows from throughout Florida, California, Illinois (Chicago), Wyoming, and New York have all recently met directly with their legislative leaders in order to impact education policy as a whole. MetLife Fellows in New York City, for instance, hosted their second annual legislative breakfast. Also, the Wyoming Fellows hosted a "Dessert and Discussion" event with 46 state legislators attending; the focus of this event was to discuss current policy issues facing the legislature.

bullet Education Commission of the States (ECS). During the past four years, five MetLife Fellows have served on ECS national advisory boards: MetLife Fellow Janet Price on Governor Geringer's National Advisory Council on Teacher Quality (99-00); MetLife Fellow Judi Fenton on Governor Shaheen's National Advisory Council on Early Learning (00-01); MetLife Fellow Wade Fuller on the National MetLife Advisory Board on Change in Education Initiatives (00-01); and, MetLife Fellow Jane Fung on Governor Guinn's Council on Child Literacy (01-02). This year, MetLife Fellow Lara Goldstone is serving as the teacher representative on ECS Chair Governor Warner's national advisory council. ECS, which works in partnership with TNPI, directly advises and/or informs virtually all state governors and legislatures on current issues relating to education.

bullet Teacher Network Collaboration. The United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) has adopted the Los Angeles MetLife Fellows' proposal to provide salary point credit for teacher network collaboration. This proposal has been approved by the UTLA Professional Development Committee, the Board of Directors, and the House of Representatives-and is now officially part of the UTLA contract proposal to the Los Angeles Unified School District.

bullet MetLife Fellows as Teacher Leaders. Increasingly, MetLife Fellows receive direct recognition for their leadership even among the very finest of teachers. For example, this year, MetLife Fellow Connie Rohde-Stanchfield received Disney's coveted American Teacher Award. Another MetLife Fellow, Chris Mullin, was recently named California Teacher of the Year. In fact, in accepting his award, Chris addressed the State Superintendent of Education, state legislators, and other California teacher leaders at a special dinner at the California Capitol; his speech was on the need for teacher retention based on the research he had conducted as a member of the Policy Institute. Throughout, Chris-and indeed all fellows-continue to be identified as MetLife Fellow-in Chris' case, this title is also acknowledged on several high-profile web sites including those of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and California Senator Tom McClintock.

bullet Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) and Alliance for Quality Education (AQE). Following a victory in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity suit, the New York City TNPI MetLife Fellows have been asked to play a major role in providing the remedy (i.e., determining how best to use newly allocated funds to improve classroom practice and student achievement) for schools throughout New York City. The MetLife Fellows continue to work closely with both the Campaign for Fiscal Equity and its partner organization, the Alliance for Quality Education-helping to get the word out about providing more equitable educational opportunities for students throughout New York.

bullet Policy Reform. More and more, the MetLife Fellows are seeing the results of their policy-influencing resulting in major policy change. For example, as a direct result of one fellow's policy recommendation based on his action research findings, the State of California has expanded its Beginning Teacher Support Program to reach 100% of new teachers throughout California-instead of just 5%.

bullet Professional Development Schools Saved. During the 2002 Wyoming legislative session, the Wyoming Fellows met with 18 legislators, including key members of the Joint Education Committee and Joint Appropriations Committee, to discuss their research and advocate for continued funding for Professional Development Schools (K-12 schools that have partnered with institutions of higher education to provide teacher preparation programs at a school site, and as a result, increase teacher quality in hard-to-staff schools). The Joint Appropriations Committee had previously cut funding for Professional Development Schools; when an amendment was proposed to restore funding, the amendment failed on its first and second readings. After consultation with the Wyoming fellows, however, the amendment to restore funding passed-and continued to gain legislative support. The amendment was included as part of the final state budget, and was signed into law by the governor.

bullet Presentations. The MetLife Fellows continue to develop and hone presentation guidelines that they are using to speak to a variety of audiences-including presentations at major conferences and workshops. Along with the MetLife Fellows' major accomplishments and other related information, a detailed listing of events at which the MetLife Fellows have recently presented and/or participated is available online on the TNPI area of Teachers Network's #1 award-winning web site, at: www.teachersnetwork.org/tnli.

bullet Press. MetLife Fellows continue to attract major local, regional, and national press-including: two recently published letters to the editor in Education Week (March 26, 2003 and April 9, 2003); a feature article on the MetLife Fellows work in the October 2002 edition of Best Practices & Policies (a publication of the Southeast Center for Teaching Quality); a full chapter written by MetLife Fellow Matt Wayne in the fall 2002 book entitled Teaching for Depth: Where math meets the humanities (notably, in this chapter, Matt cites that "I am a MetLife Fellow in TNPI, an organization dedicated to bringing teachers' voices to policymaking."); a Harvard Family Research Project online article (Fine Forum, Winter 2001) on MetLife Fellow Lara Goldstone's research; and a chapter in Teacher Education Quarterly (Spring 2002) featuring the work of MetLife Fellow Penny Arnold. Further, in the June 2003 issue of Kappan, MetLife Fellow Marika Paez' action research from last year will be the subject of a feature article entitled "Gimme That School Where Everything is Scripted." In addition, major commentary articles have appeared in Education Week (May 31, 2000) and Teacher Magazine (March 1999). Of course, the MetLife Fellows have also been written about in hundreds of community, district, union, and professional association newsletters throughout the country.



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