State Teacher Leadership Toolkit:
Created By States, For States

What can states do, in partnership with districts, to help create the necessary enabling conditions for teacher leadership to thrive?

In our 2014 report, Leading from the Front of the Classroom: A Roadmap for Teacher Leadership that Works, Leading Educators presented school districts with a concrete strategy for maximizing the potential of highly effective teachers to help improve classroom instruction, transform school culture, and create bold, high-impact teacher leadership initiatives. Now, with the release of the companion report, State Teacher Leadership Toolkit: Created By States, For States, we not only consider the importance and impact of teacher leadership programs, but we also examine the role of state actors and policy in supporting local teacher leadership initiatives.

In the current policy context of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the increased flexibility that it brings, state education agencies have a unique opportunity to access the funding and support needed to advance their approach to teacher leadership. The State Teacher Leadership Toolkit provides a playbook for states to develop a framework to guide the planning, design, implementation, and assessment of teacher leadership initiatives that increase pedagogical content expertise and student achievement.

Developed in collaboration with Education First, the Toolkit represents a synthesis of best practices and emerging models from Iowa, Massachusetts, and Tennessee, in addition to contributions from Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Illinois, New Jersey, and South Carolina. With this guide, state and district leaders have the tools necessary to identify their teacher leadership goals, choose strategies to seed teacher leadership within their districts, and drive continuous improvement to reflect and build on their success.