September 12, 2023

Nothing About Us Without Us: The Educators Behind E4E’s National Policy Agenda

Educators For Excellence •

Today, Educators for Excellence (E4E) releases our National Policy Agenda. Every two years, E4E takes a look at our Declaration of Principles and Beliefs — a document created by educators who saw a brighter path forward for education in the US — to identify the current most consequential policy priorities to guide our work.

By “we”, we mean hundreds of classroom teachers representing a cross-section of American public school educators who bring their devotion and expertise beyond the four walls of their school and into the education policy space. The input and perspective of educators is embedded every step of the way in the creation of the agenda; let’s walk through the process to see how… 

The Declaration of Principles and Beliefs is a teacher-crafted document that has guided the process from the beginning.

The tenets of the Declaration of Principles and Beliefs were developed by teachers in 2010 and updated in 2017,. They state that we—America’s teachers—believe we can modernize and elevate the teaching profession in a way that also improves outcomes for every student across the country — and that, in fact — neither of those goals can possibly be reached without also achieving the other. 

The NTLC, a group of classroom educators from across the country, performed the alchemy of taking general beliefs and turning them into actionable policy recommendations.

In the spring of 2023, our 15-person National Teacher Leader Council (NTLC) took these overarching values and used them as a lens to synthesize the challenges they have collectively experienced in their classrooms through a rigorous process of research and policy analysis. 

The Voices from the Classroom 2023 national teacher survey infused the NTLC’s work with the input of thousands of teachers across the US.

The research source the NTLC relied upon most heavily was E4E’s Voices from the Classroom 2023 survey, an annual report that asks educators questions on a broad range of topics, including to what extent their schools are serving their students,, their overall experience in the classroom, their job satisfaction, and their personal and professional needs. Armed with this survey data and their additional research, the NTLC put together their recommendations for what the general shape of the policy agenda could look like. 

E4E’s local chapter teams brought their takeaways from thousands of conversations with educators about dozens of topics to inform the targets set out in the agenda.

Each E4E chapter – in New York, Connecticut, Boston, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Los Angeles – interacts with thousands of educators around a broad range of issues each year. They methodically log those interactions, which were then used to further inform the policy areas and structure of the National Policy Agenda. 

Our hope is that policymakers take note of this agenda because it is uniquely shaped by the voices and perspectives of educators and it is designed to uplift those voices into the halls of power at every level of education decision-making. 

Read the full E4E Policy Agenda Here

Educators For Excellence

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Nothing About Us Without Us: The Educators Behind E4E’s National Policy Agenda