The Teacher-Powered Schools Initiative Celebrates 5 Years

By Amy Junge • Jun 20, 2019

Five years ago the Teacher-Powered Schools Initiative (TPSI) was launched with the goals of highlighting the successes of teacher-powered schools across the country, and inspiring other teacher teams to either take charge in their schools or design and run new schools. Teacher-powered schools flip the traditional leadership hierarchy and entrust those closest to the students—the […]

Student Voice in a Project-Based Learning Environment

By Alli Westra-Smith • May 10, 2019

Hi! My name is Alli Westra-Smith and I’m going to tell you about my school called Minnesota New Country School. MNCS is a project-based charter school in Henderson, MN. I’ve been going here for six years. I spent three years at the school’s new elementary school and this is my third year at the middle/high […]

Built to Last

By Rebekah Kang & Jonathan Tam • Apr 29, 2019

This past Spring celebrates a great many things—among them the 12th year anniversary of the LAUSD Pilot School Memorandum. Intended on creating new and innovative schools to relieve overcrowding in parts of Los Angeles, the Memorandum began with 10 schools in 2007 across two local districts in LAUSD. Two years later, in 2009, the desire […]

Navigating Leadership Changes With Intention

By Danny Flannery • Mar 28, 2019

Danny Flannery is a 1st/2nd grade teacher at Mission Hill School. He also works as a teacher-powered ambassador. Mission Hill School, a Boston Public Pilot School, opened its doors in 1997 with one principal, Deborah Meier, and over the first decade of the school’s existence it had a variety of leadership structures—always rooted in democratic […]

What it’s like to take ownership of your learning

By Lily Barnes, student at Avalon School • Feb 28, 2019

Ownership of one’s learning—of changing one’s community and one’s environment—I believe is one of the most important aspects of a school. In a traditional school environment, students don’t get to change much in their position. Classroom walls remain starkly covered with motivational posters long ago put up, or maybe a few knick knacks that the […]

When students, like teachers, are school decision-makers

By Taryn Snyder, Teacher-Powered Ambassador •

Two years ago, I had the privilege of visiting Social Justice Humanitas Academy as part of the 2017 Teacher-Powered Schools National Conference. I was inspired not only by the SJHA team, but especially by their students who spoke so highly and eloquently about their high school experiences. In asking a lot of questions, I learned […]

Offering and engaging in student-powered democracy

By Ruth Perez and Zaynab Baalbaki • Jan 24, 2019

Escuela Verde (EV) is a teacher-powered public charter school in Milwaukee, WI where learners and advisors work together openly and transparently to manage the school. EV does not have a principal or Central Office driving the school. What EV has—and fully supports and expects—is a strong, active, participative student governance group. They call it “democratized […]

At third Teacher-Powered Conference, flipping education system is possible

By Marcus Penny • Dec 13, 2018

The first weekend of December, more than 320 educators and supporters convened in Boston for the third Teacher-Powered Schools National Conference. Designing for Success, the theme of the sold out 2018 gathering, was tailored to attendees interested in professionalizing teacher roles and moving school decisions and design toward those closest to the students—teachers. For attendees, […]

The power to disagree: Building trust in teacher-powered schools

By Danny Flannery • Dec 06, 2018

This blog post was orginally posted as part of a blogging roundtable in collaboration with the Center for Teaching Quality. I remember sitting alongside Ayla Gavins, the principal of Mission Hill K-8 School, a teacher-powered school where I was working as a student teacher. A month in and I was feeling comfortable with my students, […]

Modeling democracy in Teacher-Powered Schools

By Amy Junge •

This blog post was orginally posted as part of a blogging roundtable in collaboration with the Center for Teaching Quality. The Teacher-Powered Schools Initiative is a movement of groundbreaking educators: Smart, savvy, thoughtful, committed teachers who won’t accept the status quo of the education system and who take advantage of and catalyze policies that allow […]