Press Release on VIVA Report from Iowa State Education Assocation

ISEA releases report on What Leadership Roles Should Teachers Play?
Hundreds of educators participated in idea exchange

DES MOINES, IA (01/10/2013)(readMedia)– Hundreds of educators participated in a groundbreaking, online idea exchange utilizing a combination of technologies which sought to answer the question, “how would you envision a greater role for teacher leadership in schools?” Members of the larger discussion group were then invited to craft the broad ideas into a report.

The Iowa State Education Association (ISEA), working with VIVA Teachers, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to raise teachers’ voices in education policy, launched an online discussion October 8 through October 30, 2012. All ISEA members were asked to share their ideas in answer to the following questions:

How would you envision a greater role for teacher leadership in your school or district and what needs to change in school culture to motivate educators to take on a bigger leadership role? How would it help students if educators had a bigger leadership role in schools and what do you think is the appropriate reward system for educators who step up to leadership roles?

In response to the questions, over 1,000 ISEA members visited the site, and 316 ISEA members added ideas in the discussion spending hundreds of hours refining them into 17 solutions for creating Teacher Leadership roles that would lead to improved student learning. The distilled ideas were used to create the report.

“We have been frustrated that those who are the most critical about education are not present in the classroom. We worked with VIVA teachers to allow a way for educators to discuss real-life examples of what ideas would work and what might not work. When you read the report you can see the practical application of some of the ideas being suggested. That’s what’s been missing in many of the details – the practical side of things,” said Tammy Wawro, president of the ISEA. “We’re proud of this report because it’s a great example of what our members can do if they are asked to be at the table during the discussions,” Wawro added.

Among the many ideas generated was tasking Teacher Leaders with liaising between the school and families; making the Teacher Leader the point person on Developing Instructional Strategies for Common Core Implementation; and using the Teacher Leaders as a resource for promoting best practices and Professional Development.

Re-Imagining School Leadership for the 21st Century will be used as guidance for discussions when the topic of teacher leadership and compensation is debated this legislative session. See the finished report, Re-Imagining School Leadership for the 21st Century.

Click here to view this press release on the ISEA website.

VIVA Arizona Press Release

Contact: Megan Gilbertson
O: 602.944.0644 ext. 312
C:  602.688.9435


Charter Teachers Share Thoughts on Implementing New Standards

Arizona teachers need more training, parents need a heads up


VIVA Arizona Press Release

Download as a PDF

Phoenix, Ariz. (June 8, 2012) – In order to ensure a successful transition to new, more rigorous K-12 curriculum standards, Arizona must provide additional training and tools to educators, launch a public awareness campaign about the new student achievement standards, and ease the transition to new tests, according to a report prepared by Arizona charter school teachers.

In a first of its kind online collaboration in Arizona, nearly 200 charter teachers across the state spent four weeks exchanging ideas about what teachers and schools need to ensure a successful transition to the Common Core State Standards, the new mandated standards all public schools — district and charter — must meet beginning in the 2013-2014 school year.

A group of seven teachers from the initial phase of the VIVA Idea Exchange worked to summarize and synthesize the ideas, and developed a report with 36 specific action steps for Arizona to use when implementing the Common Core State Standards. The teachers will present their ideas to Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal and Arizona State Board of Education President Jaime Molera on June 13.

“Our teachers want to see their students succeed, and this report provides policy makers an in-depth look at what all public schools need to make the transition to the new standards successful,” said Association President Eileen B. Sigmund. “Although charter teachers are innovative and creative, they face the same challenges as all public school teachers are facing in Arizona and across the country.”

The Arizona Charter Schools Association partnered with New Voice Strategies’ VIVA Teachers Project to engage Arizona charter schools teachers in an effective conversation about the new standards.

Find out more about the project and Common Core State Standards at Please contact Megan Gilbertson for a copy of the embargoed report.


About The Arizona Charter Schools Association

The Arizona Charter Schools Association is a non-profit membership and professional organization that serves more than 80 percent of the 524 charter schools in Arizona that enroll 133,890 students. Fully 25 percent of the state’s public schools are charter schools, and 12 percent of all public-school students are enrolled in charter schools—the highest percentage for any state, and second only to Washington D.C. With a common goal of providing the best in free, public education for Arizona’s children, the Association works alongside schools, parents, policymakers and the media, continuously advocating for high quality schools, student equity, and charter school autonomy. We are dedicated to high student achievement and aggressively seek to provide the best in comprehensive support and services to Arizona’s charter schools. For more information, visit or call 602.944.0644.

About VIVA Teachers

VIVA Teachers (VIVA stands for Voice, Ideas, Vision, Action) uses an innovative online platform to empower them to share their professional wisdom with each other and connects them directly to the people who have the power to enact change. Already, VIVA Teachers have submitted their recommendations for change to government officials in Washington, D.C. Chicago IL, Albany NY, and St. Paul MN. For more information on how VIVA elevates the voices of teachers, from the front lines to the bottom line, visit