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Teach Plus Arkansas Launches Third Policy Fellowship Cohort For Classroom Teachers

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Teach Plus Arkansas Launches Third Policy Fellowship Cohort For Classroom Teachers


Teach Plus, a national teacher leadership organization has selected 31 teachers from around Arkansas for its 2023-2024 Policy Fellowship cohort. The Policy Fellows will focus on a range of issues of importance to Arkansas’ students and teachers, including teacher leadership and development, early literacy, and teacher recruitment and retention. 

“The selection of these outstanding educators as Teach Plus Arkansas Policy Fellows underscores our commitment to elevating teacher voice in shaping education policy to benefit students,” said Stacy McAdoo, Teach Plus Arkansas executive director and 2019 Arkansas Teacher of the Year. “(W)e believe that by harnessing the expertise of classroom practitioners and developing their skills in policy, advocacy, and communications, we can create policies that truly meet the needs of Arkansas’ students and educators. And that together, with teachers at the table alongside policymakers, we can work towards creating a more equitable and effective education system that empowers every Arkansas student.”

 The cohort includes the 2011 Arkansas Teacher of the Year, two Arkansas Teacher of the Year finalists, several district and local teachers of the year, six National Board-Certified teachers, an Arkansas Gifted and Talented Education Association educator, and two classroom instructors who have received recognition for having the highest reading achievement in their district. 

Eighty percent of this cohort teach in schools where at least 50% of the student population receives free or reduced lunch. Over half of the cohort—61% identify as teachers of color, compared to 12% of teachers statewide, more closely reflecting the diversity of the state’s public school students, said McAdoo. 

The new Fellows hail from urban, rural, and suburban areas throughout Arkansas and have classroom experience ranging from two to 30 years. They also come from various settings that teach various subjects and age levels from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade, including traditional public and charter schools, and an early childhood center. 

Throughout the yearlong program, the cohorts are trained in policy, advocacy, research and communications, and develop the skills necessary to advocate for changes for Arkansas’ students. Each Fellow was chosen based on their strong commitment to the classroom and to equity, their ability to articulate the needs of their students, and their pursuit of excellence and innovation in their teaching.

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