Educators for Excellence Releases New Declaration of Teachers’ Principles and Beliefs
Written by Classroom Teachers Nationwide, Represents Educators’ Vision for Improving Student Outcomes and Elevating Their Profession
Launched at DC Event with Former U.S. Ed Secretary John King and Former D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson Listening to Teachers and Students about the Future of Education
February 10, 2017 (Washington, DC) – Educators for Excellence (E4E), a teacher-led organization, today unveiled its new Declaration of Teachers’ Principles and Beliefs, a shared set of values and principles that teachers believe are necessary to improve outcomes for students and elevate the teaching profession.
The Declaration was released today at the Newseum in Washington, DC, during the event Attacking Inequity with Excellence. Former U.S. Education Secretary John King and former Chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools Kaya Henderson attended and engaged in an in-depth conversation with classroom teachers and students from across the country about the future of education.
While research shows that classroom teachers are the single most important in-school factor in improving student achievement, their diverse voices are consistently left out of education policy decisions. For far too long, teachers have been treated as subjects of change rather than as agents of change. E4E was founded in 2010 to ensure that teachers have a leading voice in the policies that impact their students and profession, with the original Declaration being written by a dozen New York City public school teachers. This guiding document has now been refreshed by current educators from across the country, representing E4E’s nearly 25,000 members and six chapters.
“Educators for Excellence is so much bigger than we once were and includes a variety of new perspectives. Because of that, we had the obligation to create a Declaration that amplifies those new voices,” said Leah Brunski, a teacher at P.S. 29 in Brooklyn and a member of E4E-New York. “It is exciting to me that E4E is such a responsive organization, and is self-aware enough to recognize when changes need to be made. To be a part of that revision process – so that it better reflects our membership – is an invaluable opportunity.”
“In celebration of our organizational growth and in recognition that the policy issues in our founding document have evolved, we revisited our Declaration in 2016 in true teacher-led fashion – through the guidance and leadership of our members, current classroom teachers,” said Evan Stone, Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Educators for Excellence.
To read the Declaration and watch a video about why and how it was developed, visit: e4e.org/membership/our-
“I am proud to have been a part of the teacher advisory group that guided the revision of Educators for Excellence’s Declaration,” said Stuart Beckford, a teacher at Burr School and member of E4E-Connecticut. “This new Declaration provides an opportunity for our colleagues to discuss the education issues that affect their schools in unique ways. By helping to craft it, I feel as though we are empowering our colleagues to advocate for their students.”
“Educators for Excellence is building a movement of forward-thinking educators; identifying and training teachers to take on leadership positions; creating teacher-led policy recommendations; and advocating for implementation of teacher-generated ideas on the local, state and federal levels. All of our work is guided by the teacher-written Declaration,” said Sydney Morris, Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Educators for Excellence. “In the new version, educators commit to working toward creating an education system that will prioritize students and their success, strengthen the voices and practices of educators and focus on equity.”
“It was a privilege today - as always - to hear directly from teachers serving in our nation’s classrooms,” said Former U.S. Education Secretary John King. “It is our country’s responsibility to ensure that all children have every opportunity to succeed. That includes providing access for all students to high-quality learning environments and the resources they need. I am truly inspired by all of the Educators for Excellence members that I had the chance to meet today and their dedication to advocating for America’s next generation.”
“Teachers have both the responsibility and privilege of training tomorrow’s leaders, which makes it one of the most noble professions someone can choose to pursue. I am especially impressed by the teachers that spoke with today, who are not only serving our children day in and day out, but are also working to improve the quality of our education system,” said Former D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson. “Our education leaders and lawmakers have an obligation to match the commitment of these educators to elevating the teaching profession by enacting policies that promote effective teacher preparation programs and fair, rigorous evaluations that help teachers grow professionally.”
“Teachers coming to Educators for Excellence interested in learning how our organization can help them and the work that they do with their students can undoubtedly look to our Declaration as the starting point,” said Cyndi Reyes, a teacher at Nueva Esperanza Charter Academy and member of E4E-Los Angeles. “With this new Declaration, our current and new members can see exactly what our organization stands for today, so that they can determine how they fit into all that we are hoping to accomplish.”
Educators for Excellence plans to have its members revisit and revise its Declaration every five years as the organization continues to grow.
“We want to ensure our core principles are representative of our members, the nuances of our positions, and the issues that are most critical for our students,” added Stone.