State Chiefs take a leadership role in elevating the teaching profession

Chiefs for Change
June 6, 2017

School systems throughout the country are working to establish avenues for teacher leadership, but often lack powerful models to guide action. A new policy brief from Chiefs for Change offers a view into some of the most promising efforts, and perspectives on how others can learn from those models.

The Case for Teacher Leadership draws lessons from distinct approaches by Chiefs for Change membersLouisiana, New Mexico, and Tennessee — to elevate the teaching profession. It also lays out a five-stage continuum for meaningful teacher leader engagement.

“For years, teachers have justifiably complained about “engagement” efforts that are one-way and one-time, when they want to develop their skills and have an impact in a career-long, participatory process,” said Chiefs for Change CEO Mike Magee. “There’s really exciting work going on all over this country, and we’re thrilled that some of our members have put forth models that others can learn from.”

The brief outlines three objectives of teacher leadership for state Chiefs to consider:

Empowering and leveraging high-performing teachers to create and sustain effective education policies,

Building a culture of innovation and shared responsibility toward constant improvement, and

Using teacher leaders to address and solve critical issues or challenges at the school and district levels.

Strategic leaders have an opportunity to engage teacher leaders systematically and embed key initiatives if they develop a framework anchored in two-way communication designed to empower teachers to advocate for policies that work for students. With the goal of fostering a culture of shared ownership and responsibility for improving student outcomes, educators are valued as partners in the effort to support and sustain policy changes.

Read this policy brief on our website.

Read more about this work in Education Week.



Chiefs for Change is a coalition of state education Chiefs and district superintendents dedicated to excellence and equity for all students. Learn more on our website: