Be Informed, Be Heard
How can you influence education policy that affects your everyday life as a teacher?
If you’re not sure about the answer, there are a number of ways to have your voice heard by education policymakers at the local, state, and national level. One of those ways is to join ASCD’s Educator Advocates program (http://www.ascd.org/public-policy/Educator-Advocates.aspx). As an advocate, you’ll receive an e-newsletter that provides information about federal education policy and politics, opportunities to provide policymakers with your input on education issues, and access to the ASCD Action Center where you can learn about legislation and contact Congressional representatives. To help you understand and carry out your role as an education advocate, ASCD conducts an annual Leadership Institute for Legislative Advocacy. This year’s event is January 21-23 in Washington, DC. Here’s the link to registration: http://www.ascd.org/conferences/LILA/home.aspx.
ASCD also develops policy recommendations for the federal, state, and district levels (http://www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/siteASCD/policy/2017-ASCD-Policy-Recommendations.pdf) as well as policy positions http://www.ascd.org/news-media/ASCD-Policy-Positions/ASCD-Positions.aspx. For 2017, there were recommendations in the areas of ensuring equity, promoting excellence, and supporting educators (http://www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/siteASCD/policy/2017-ASCD-Policy-Recommendations.pdf) and positions related to standards development and implementation, educating students in a changing world, the whole child, health and learning, closing the achievement gap, and multiple measures of assessment. For questions or more information about education advocacy at ASCD, contact the ASCD Government Relations Team (firstname.lastname@example.org).
CO ASCD’s efforts to support teacher voice in education decision making include hosting online conversations with policymakers (see Education Issues in Focus at www.coascd.org), conducting policy summits, inviting policymakers and educators to write policy-related blogs or articles for our newsletter, connecting with other organizations in the state that promote education advocacy (for example, Commissioner Anthes’ Teacher Cabinet http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdecomm/teachercabinet), providing information about policy priorities in Colorado (for example, State Board of Education priorities (http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdeboard/sbe2017legpriorities), and participating in ASCD education advocacy activities.
This column will be a regular feature in our quarterly newsletter. We invite you to contribute or respond to the column by writing about how policies have affected your classroom or by sharing your ideas about existing or needed policies. We hope you’ll participate in our other advocacy activities as well. If you would like to play a leadership role by becoming a member of CO ASCD’s Advocacy Committee, please contact Jill Lewis (email@example.com).