RALEIGH, NC (August 30, 2017) – The Public School Forum of North Carolina and WakeEd Partnership have teamed up to jointly lead the Beginning Teacher Leadership Network (BTLN) of Wake County for the 2017-2018 school year. The BTLN began as a pilot program of the Public School Forum in Wake County in 2015 and later expanded to Union and Mecklenburg Counties. This year the Public School Forum is expanding the program again, this time to Cabarrus, Carteret and Onslow counties. This new partnership with WakeEd is the first time the Forum’s BTLN program will be co-led with a local partner.

“We’re excited about this new relationship with the WakeEd Partnership,” said Keith Poston, President and Executive Director, Public School Forum of NC. “No other organization in Wake County has a longer and more effective track record of supporting our public school teachers than WakeEd.  We hope this will be a model for future expansion of the program across the state.”

The new partnership capitalizes on the strong connections the Forum and WakeEd have with state and local leaders in education, business, and government, as well as the expertise of staff members at the two organizations in professional learning and state/local education policy, to deliver a high-quality experience for participating teachers.

“WakeEd’s commitment to addressing teacher recruitment, development, and retention strategies, especially with the increasing call for teacher leadership opportunities, makes BTLN a natural expansion of our programs,” said Steve Parrott, President of WakeEd Partnership. “Its focus on the relationship between leadership and advocacy aligns with our strategic vision to serve as a catalyst for strong public schools in Wake County.”

BTLN takes a three-pronged approach to teacher leadership by focusing on the areas of education policy and advocacy, cross-curricular collaboration, and professional development.

  • Education Policy and Advocacy: Teachers participating in the network will gain a baseline understanding of key education policy issues and strategies for engaging in policy debates.
  • Cross-Curricular Collaboration: Through collaboration, teachers will enhance their understanding of the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and their specific disciplines.
  • Professional Development: Teachers will strengthen knowledge, develop skills, and learn strategies to improve classroom instruction and student learning.

Sessions are held monthly during after-school hours at a central location. Additionally, teachers form networks using digital tools and social media for greater growth. Each session covers topics chosen by teachers and provides strategies, policy discussions, or guest speakers to address a full range of interest areas. The year culminates with a Legislative Day in Raleigh and graduation event involving statewide participants, speakers and special guests. This year the BTLN is also launching a special STEM track with support from the Biogen Foundation to promote cross-curricular STEM education among beginning teachers. By bringing together educational practice and policy, the BTLN aims to produce teachers that are “empowered to lead and informed to change” in a new era of teaching. Statewide, the BTLN is led by James E. Ford, Public School Forum Program Director and former NC Teacher of the Year.

Applications are now being accepted to participate in the BTLN of Wake County, as well as the other 5 counties in the network. There is no cost for teachers to participate and the program is open to any teacher in their first three years in the classroom. Interested teachers should visit https://www.ncforum.org/beginning-teacher-leadership-network/ to learn more and to sign up.

About WakeEd Partnership

WakeEd Partnership has been an advocate for public education for over 30 years. As an independent nonprofit, we engage, inform, and mobilize the business community and community-at-large to provide every student in Wake County Public Schools with excellent educational opportunities, highly effective teachers, and strong leaders. We support educators through high quality professional development focused on teacher leadership and innovative instruction. We act as a catalyst for engaging business and community resources in meaningful ways with students, educators and schools. We offer independent and objective analysis and advocacy on important education policy issues to inform the community.  Follow us on Twitter @wakeedpa and visit our website at http://www.wakeed.org.

About the Public School Forum of North Carolina

Since 1986, the Public School Forum of North Carolina has been an indispensable and nonpartisan champion of better schools and the most trusted source in the state for research and analysis on vital education issues. We bring together leaders from business, education and government to study education issues, develop ideas, seek consensus, and ultimately inform and shape education policy. We do that through research, policy work, innovative programs, advocacy, and continuing education for educators and policymakers. Follow us on Twitter @theNCForum and visit our website at http://www.ncforum.org/

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Media contacts:

Keith Poston, Public School Forum, 919-781-6833 x105

C. Steve Parrott, WakeEd Partnership, 919-780-5205

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