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Educators Represent Santa Barbara County at National Conference

Two local educators joined more than 50 others affiliated with the Teachers Network Leadership Institute assembled in Wilmington, Del., on Oct. 24-26 to help bridge the education policy gap between the schoolhouse and the statehouse.

Representing Santa Barbara County at the national meeting were Petti Pfau, director of Teachers Network for the Santa Barbara County Education Office, and Mary Post, a special education teacher at Foothill School in the Goleta Union School District, who is a senior MetLife fellow.

The meeting focused on the theme “Keeping Good Teachers Teaching and Growing” and kicked off a Ford Foundation-supported study and documentary on how to keep good teachers teaching.

Educators from public schools at all grade levels, universities, state education departments and foundations convened to continue to strengthen the nationwide TNLI community.

The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss ways to ensure the teacher’s voice in education policy; connect TNLI action research, cases, policy and advocacy; learn to facilitate case discussions to show the unintended consequences of how policy plays out in real classrooms and schools; and to develop knowledge skills for advocating for policy change.

During the meeting, TNLI MetLife Fellows were also interviewed for the new study and by a camera crew on location filming teachers for the documentary — both components of the Ford Foundation grant.

Hosted by the Rodel Foundation of Delaware, the meeting included representatives from TNLI affiliates in Chicago, Delaware, Virginia’s Fairfax County, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, New York City, Sacramento, San Francisco, Santa Barbara County and Wyoming.

Also in attendance were renowned education leaders and activists: TNLI national advisor David Kirkland, assistant professor of English Education at New York University; TNLI case advisor Kay Merseth, director of the Teacher Education Programs at Harvard University; John Carwell, vice president of the Rodel Foundation; Purcell Public Affairs founder Teresa Purcell; and Education Voters of America and Education Voters Institute President Beth Sullivan.

Wendy Shelton represents the Santa Barbara County Education Office.

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