West Roxbury's Lillian Pinet, a bilingual kindergarten teacher at the Orchard Gardens School, testified this week before a U.S. Senate Committee on how to empower, support and keep highly effective urban public school teachers.
Pinet was one of three BPS educators who testified on behalf of Teach Plus about two programs: Teaching Policy Fellows and T3: Turnaround Teacher Teams. Pinet recalled applying to become a T3 teacher so she could be in a leadership role in the school and still be a classroom teacher.
The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) asked Teach Plus to speak about its programs in Boston, Chicago, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Memphis, to ensure that teachers remain in the career and assume leadership roles in schools. The Committee is considering reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, better known as No Child Left Behind. Evidence has shown that "nearly half of teachers leave urban schools within their first three years in the classroom."
Teach Plus Founder and CEO Celine Coggins and President Monique Burns Thompson spoke about Teach Plus programs that try to ensure that teachers have a voice in education reform.
Along with Pinet, Andrew Bott of Roslindale, principal of the Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School in Roxbury, testified about the role that T3 has had in recruiting and hiring experienced teachers to help transform the school after nearly 80 percent of the staff were not rehired last year.
Teach Plus is a national non-profit based in Boston whose mission is to improve outcomes for urban children by ensuring that a greater proportion of students have access to effective, experienced teachers. Teach Plus runs three programs designed to place teacher leaders at the center of reform: Teaching Policy Fellows, the T+ Network, and T3: Turnaround Teacher Teams. The programs focus on demonstrably effective teachers who want to continue classroom teaching while also expanding their impact as leaders in their schools and in national, state, and district policy. Teach Plus began with 16 founding teachers from urban district and charter schools in Greater Boston. Since its inception as a non-profit in August 2009, Teach Plus has grown to a network of more than 2,500 reform-minded teachers in five major cities across the country.