Our policy papers codify the learning from our community of practice and offer recommendations
to Chiefs as they shape the future of education in their states and districts.
April 30, 2019


How States Can Help Districts Adopt High-Quality Instructional Materials

The Chiefs for Change report, "Choosing Wisely: How States Can Help Districts Adopt High-Quality Instructional Materials," describes reasons why states with curriculum oversight often fail to prevent the use of poor materials. The report also outlines recommendations that states can follow to promote the use of excellent curriculum and related professional learning.
April 3, 2018


Investing in Sustained School-Systems Leadership

The call to action is straightforward: At every level, policy makers, stakeholders, and current education leaders can serve students better by investing in and drawing from new and stronger career pathways, superintendent-development programs, and coaching trees within districts and state education agencies. America’s public education system needs a stronger bench of courageous and effective systems leaders. But that won’t happen until we prioritize diverse education system leadership and develop it.
February 12, 2018


Harnessing the Power of Teacher Leadership Networks to Sustain Progress in Tennessee

Under the sustained leadership of two Chiefs for Change Members, Commissioners Kevin Huffman and Candice McQueen, Tennessee has made truly impressive progress in student achievement over the better part of the past decade which is a testament to the vision for and dedication to their teacher empowerment work. The Tennessee Department of Education made it a priority to incorporate teacher voice into a variety of initiatives aimed at improving schools and the teaching practice. The statewide efforts, which provide support for district-led programs, have empowered teachers to take ownership of policy, curriculum, technology use, and data through a “network of networks.” At a time when the state was working to improve standards and raise expectations across the board, teacher leadership was key to successfully developing, launching, and sustaining reform efforts.
December 11, 2017


Investing in Teacher Leadership in New Mexico

Sustained, Bold Reform: Investing in Teacher Leadership in New Mexico draws lessons from the distinct approach used by New Mexico Education Secretary Hanna Skandera and her successor Christopher Ruszkowski, both Chiefs for Change members, to modernize and elevate the teaching profession, providing an in-depth analysis of the state’s successful model for teacher leadership. With the state agency as a case study, this brief lends an insider view of the structures, systems, metrics, policies, and programs developed in the Land of Enchantment to empower teachers as leaders, advocates, and trusted partners in school and system improvement. Bold leadership, sustained over time – and the coaching trees that help to ensure sustained leadership – matter.
August 8, 2017


Leveraging Curriculum to Improve Student Learning

A relatively nascent but powerful body of research suggests that content-rich, standards-aligned, and high-quality curricula exert a powerful influence on student achievement. There is also early evidence that switching to a high-quality curriculum may be a more cost-effective way to raise student achievement than several other school-level interventions. Leading states and districts – from New York to Louisiana to Washington, D.C. – are showing how smart strategies can be used to ensure that high-quality standards are matched with high-quality instructional materials, leading to strong student outcomes – without trampling on local control of education.
June 5, 2017


Elevating the Teaching Profession and Sustaining Equity and Excellence

School systems throughout the country are working to establish avenues for teacher leadership, but often lack powerful models to guide action. This 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 members — Louisiana, New Mexico, and Tennessee — to elevate the teaching profession. It also lays out a five-stage continuum for meaningful teacher leader engagement.
September 12, 2016


Preparing, Training, and Recruiting High-Quality Teachers, Principals, and Other School Leaders

The Title II program under ESSA continues to focus on raising student achievement by improving the quality of teachers, principals, and other school leaders, and affords significant flexibility for states and districts to carry out a wide variety of activities, consistent with their specific needs. These opportunities are significant, as in 2016 $2.34 billion was appropriated for Title II. This brief provides specific pathways for states and districts to develop and implement programming in a strategic and collaborative manner in order to better prepare, develop, recruit, retain, and ensure equitable access to our strongest educators.