By Anna Skinner
After Westfield Middle School seventh grade teacher Kelly Day studied education in Finland and constructed a blog that went viral, she decided she wanted to bring aspects of Finnish education back to Westfield. She just wasn’t quite sure how to do it.
Day recently got her chance with Teach Plus as a teaching policy fellow. Day will join 19 other Indiana educators in providing input regarding policies for the state.
Next year, the Every Student Succeeds Act will be implemented, which provides power back to Indiana for determining how to grade schools within the state. The state has to create a new accountability measure for each of its schools, such as ISTEP, and Day will be a part of the teaching fellows to assist with that.
“I am so glad power is given back to state level, and that now means Indiana as a state has to create this new accountability measure for all of its schools, which is opening up the floor for a lot of discussion,” Day said. “It’s going to be really neat to see how schools are going to be evaluated in the future. I’m so glad the state is asking for teacher input and really like reaching out to say, ‘You guys are the ones in the field and see what this looks like every day.’
“Part of this fellowship is teaching us as practitioners the whole politic side of it. There’s a whole different side of it with policy talk and understanding how bills are made, why these bills are being passed and kind of bridging this gap between two different worlds is important. That starts with us as educators to learn more about them and policy makers to learn more about us.”
For more, visit teachplus.org.