Economic inequality across the country is growing, and its impact on students’ access to educational opportunities is significant. To explore the role teachers can play (and are playing) in ensuring that public education continues to be a forceful driver of social equity and in disrupting the structures, cultures, and practices that effectively maintain this system of inequality, the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University conducted the Teacher Leadership and Advocacy (TLA) study. We examine how teachers, alongside family and community partners, are utilizing their experiences and expertise to share new ideas and evidence that can continue to build an ecology for equitable education reform. Specifically, we explore how teachers are leading and engaging in advocacy for policy change that can lead to system change and improvement.
The findings and recommendations of the TLA study come from an exploration of current efforts to activate individual and collective teacher leadership and advocacy. The study partnered with six educational organizations from around the country whose leaders and members responded to three research questions:
• Why engage teachers as leaders and advocates within policy-making?
• How are the profiled organizations dismantling challenges and barriers to leadership and advocacy?
• What are the policy-oriented outcomes of teacher leadership and advocacy?