Teachers Network Receives Ford Grant

Published on January 27, 2010, 5:50 pm
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Teachers Network has received a major new grant from the Ford Foundation to raise public awareness that every child deserves to have an effective teacher.

The grant provides for the publishing and distribution, beginning in late February, of findings that are based on over 1,200 survey responses (out of over 2,500 surveys sent—resulting in an astonishing 47.8% return rate) and interviews from educators across the country about what is needed to keep good teachers teaching and growing in their profession.

The findings from the Teachers Network survey—which was also previously funded by the Ford Foundation— show that quality teaching is largely the result of a variety of measures that need to be put in place to better support teachers, and point to the necessity of teachers having many opportunities to collaborate. This grant will also allow for the creation of a social networking website for teachers, and with it, provide an ongoing opportunity to discuss how best to keep good teachers in the classroom. Visitors to the site will be able to access content and any discussions/comments made by community members, post topics and replies in a simple discussion forum environment, and register and become members in order to participate in ongoing dialog with a nationwide online community.

As Ellen Dempsey, President and CEO of Teachers Network, explains, “Since its inception, Teachers Network has focused on improving student achievement by encouraging networking opportunities and collaboration among those in the teaching profession. With the help of Ford Foundation, we are another step closer to realizing this goal.”

In seeking to create a larger platform for the teacher’s voice to be heard, this grant will also offer a special opportunity to help inform, educate, and advise policymakers, as well as the public at-large, as to what really needs to happen to improve the quality of education throughout our nation’s schools. Leading educators, researchers, and policymakers will convene at three national meetings to be held in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. This series of regional forums will launch a national conversation about supporting schools and school systems that are capable of attracting, developing, and keeping effective teachers in the classroom. Policymakers, educators, and others in attendance will participate in small-group sessions, where their collaborative feedback and action plans will be recorded and added to the national conversation.

Finally, along with findings from the Teachers Network survey, this grant has enabled Teachers Network to disseminate a companion documentary-video entitled “Teachers on Teaching,” available at www.teachersnetwork.org, featuring direct voices of teachers from throughout the nation and a narration by actor Cynthia Nixon. The intent is that this video will serve as a strong visual piece to really allow the teacher’s voice to be heard firsthand by policymakers as well as the public-at-large.

About Teachers Network

Teachers Network is a non-profit organization–by teachers, for teachers–with a three-decade long track record of success, dedicated to improving student learning in public schools, and cutting through teacher isolation. Using the power of an award-winning website, video, and print resources, it leverages the creativity and expertise of a national and international community of outstanding educators. The organization is unique in its focus on the teacher as key to improving student achievement in public schools. Through its leadership, Teachers Network empowers teachers to transform public schools into creative learning communities so every student will succeed and contribute to the public good. Over the years, Teachers Network has directly impacted over 1.5 million teachers and nearly 40 million students. For more information, please visit their website here.


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