Our Theory of Change

Our Theory of Change:
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By promoting differentiated roles and responsibilities for teachers along a career continuum, talented teachers will be recruited and retained, effective teaching will increase, and students’ learning and development of 21st century skills will improve. To accomplish this theory of change, NNSTOY is focused on two goals:

  1. Transform active teachers’ roles, responsibilities and compensation to attract and retain highly effective teachers.
  2. Become a trusted voice representing highly effective teachers to advance the new vision of the teaching profession.

Goal 1: Strategies and Activities

To accomplish its first goal to transform what it means to be a teacher, NNSTOY will spend the next three years focused on four strategies:

  • Research and identify models and practices of teacher leadership and career advancement opportunities

  • Share and promote these models and practices with policymakers

  • Educate stakeholders about these models and practices

  • Support states, districts and schools in implementing these models and practices

The first strategy begins with clearly articulating a new definition of teaching by researching existing models of teacher leadership and career advancement in action. By the end of 2012, NNSTOY will have identified 2-3 models of career advancement and examples of effective practices aligned to NNSTOY’s vision. NNSTOY will research national and international models and innovative solutions as part of this work. These models and examples will clearly illustrate:

  • teacher leadership opportunities that allow teachers to stay in the classroom

  • opportunities for collaboration among teachers

  • increased and differentiated responsibilities for teachers

  • strategic compensation based on roles, assignments and effectiveness

Essential to NNSTOY’s work is informing policymakers about these new models and effective practices. Beginning in 2013, NNSTOY will widely disseminate NNSTOY’s perspective on the selected models’ strengths and weaknesses, and ideas for moving these models and effective practices forward to implementation in schools and districts. This work will revolve around building relationships with policymakers at the federal and state levels, educating NNSTOY members about informing policymakers at the federal level of models and effective practices aligned to NNSTOY’s goals, drafting and disseminating position statements, and building partnerships with other organizations focused on teachers to create broader support for the selected models and practices.

Transforming active teachers’ roles, responsibilities and compensation will also require educating teachers and other stakeholders about the new definition of teaching. In 2012, NNSTOY will focus on a public engagement and media strategy to build awareness of and support for NNSTOY’s vision for America’s schools and the new definition of teaching. NNSTOY will also spread the word about NNSTOY’s plan to NNSTOY members and other STOYs through networks, events, existing online platforms and other communications efforts.

NNSTOY will focus on supporting implementation by building tools to help states, districts and schools put these models and practices into action. By the end of 2013, NNSTOY will create an action plan to help support state implementation, and in 2014, NNSTOY will create a similar plan for districts. These plans will include the identification of policy/contractual barriers to successful implementation (and innovative solutions to overcome these barriers), case studies, and toolkits to help states and districts implement these models and practices. Additionally, NNSTOY will provide input on the impact of these models and practices on individual classrooms. This teacher perspective provides policymakers with evidence of the value of these models and practices and helps to close the policy implementation gap.

Goal 2: Strategies and Activities

NNSTOY’s second goal is about becoming a trusted voice representing highly effective teachers and focuses on two strategies:

  • Build NNSTOY’s organizational capacity

  • Expand and engage NNSTOY’s membership

As an organization that lacks significant visibility and infrastructure, building NNSTOY’s capacity is essential to achieving its mission. In its first year, NNSTOY will affiliate with a fiscal partner to provide back-office support while retaining NNSTOY’s independence. During this time, NNSTOY will raise funds to implement the strategic plan using a realistic and sustainable fundraising strategy. NNSTOY will develop its new board of directors and hire staff during this time as well.

To truly represent effective teachers across the country, NNSTOY must expand and engage its membership. By the end of 2012, NNSTOY will increase its membership by communicating NNSTOY’s goals to new STOYs during their year of recognition, working with state STOY networks, using existing online platforms and building the organization’s reputation through a public engagement and media strategy. NNSTOY will focus on membership engagement through conferences and work teams designed to accomplish specific tasks, such as developing the criteria for identifying effective models and practices, drafting white papers and other materials, and searching for an executive director.

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