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Press Release: Met Life Foundation


MetLife Foundation Grant Helps Teachers Find Missing Link
by Connecting Educators to Public Policymakers

New York—August 25, 2008—How can America’s educational system better serve today’s youth? To be effective, education policy must connect with the realities of public school classrooms. To help give voice to these realities, Teachers Network Leadership Institute (TNLI) has announced that it has been awarded a $250,000 grant from MetLife Foundation, designed to help classroom teachers conduct their own research in 2008-2009 and share their results with policymakers.

Through the grant, TNLI MetLife Fellows look for the missing link among research, practice, policy, and student achievement. Although all fellows have full-time classroom teaching responsibilities, they take the time to conduct action research studies, develop policy recommendations based on their findings, write cases to facilitate discussions with policymakers, and document and disseminate their work locally and nationally. To get the word out, fellows join influential task forces; give presentations to school districts and school boards; participate in major conferences; serve on local, state, and national education advisory councils; and publish their research in education journals

“TNLI is an extension of Teachers Network’s model of by teachers, for teachers,” explains Ellen Dempsey, President and CEO of Teachers Network, “It has become the mechanism to empower, recognize, and connect teachers to fully advocate for their profession.”

Since 1995, more than 1000 teacher leaders nationwide have participated as MetLife Fellows, and over 120 of the best action research studies have been published on the Teachers Network website. Over the years fellows have explored important questions about enabling college going among disadvantaged students, vocabulary instruction for English Language Learners, collaborative teaching of science in elementary schools, student motivation in special education, and other compelling issues affecting teaching and learning. Teachers Network has published samples of TNLI teacher research studies in a series of reports, most recently The Missing Link: Connecting Teacher Research, Practice and Policy to Improve Student Learning.  The reports are available at http://teachersnetwork.org.

“It’s exciting to see teachers challenge themselves, examine their work, and share what they learn,” said Sibyl Jacobson, president of the MetLife Foundation. “We are pleased to support the work of the Teacher Network Leadership Institute, because teachers have important things to say to their peers and to public policymakers at all levels.”

About Teachers Network

TNLI is a major initiative of Teachers Network, comprising of 13 affiliates nationwide—and hundreds of teacher leaders—in such locations as Chicago, IL; Fairfax County, VA; Gainesville and Miami, FL; Milwaukee, WI; New York City; Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, Santa Barbara County, CA; the States of Delaware, Kentucky, and Wyoming. Directed by Ellen Meyers, TNLI is a partnership with New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.  In addition to MetLife Foundation, TNLI is supported by New York Community Trust, the Rodel Foundation, Spencer Foundation, and a broad spectrum of local foundations, education funds, universities, state departments of education, county education offices, and school districts across the nation.

Teachers Network is a non-profit organization—by teachers, for teachers—with a 27-year track record of success, dedicated to improving student learning in public schools nationally and internationally.  Teachers Network is unique in its focus on professional development as the key to improving student achievement.  Using the power of an award-winning web site, videos, and print resources, Teachers Network leverages the creativity and expertise of a national and international community of outstanding educators.  Through its leadership, Teachers Network empowers teachers to transform public schools into creative learning communities. 

About MetLife Foundation

MetLife Foundation supports education, health, civic and cultural organizations.  It seeks to increase opportunities for young people to succeed, give students and teachers a voice in improving education, create connections between schools and communities and develop leadership. Its funding for education is informed by findings from annual The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher.  For more information about MetLife Foundation, see http://metlife.org.


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