Finding inspiration and motivation for the work

For many teachers, the motivation to start a teacher-powered school is inspired by having autonomy to develop and implement better ways to teach and learn. But will your team be able to accomplish what it wants?

Visiting existing teacher-powered schools and using these resources will help your team start to answer this question. You can also use this step to explore individual and group motivations for forming a teacher-powered school, along with concerns about the challenges ahead.



Transforming the Teacher Role: How Innovative Designs Can Improve Satisfaction, Retention, and Student Experiences

Website. This resource aims to help schools and districts rise to the challenges of this moment and make meaningful changes to the teaching profession in ways that support existing talent and attract a new generation of educators, while also fueling student learning.

Commentaries by and about teachers who design and run schools

Happiness, Collaboration and Dedication: What It’s Like to Teach at a Teacher-Powered School

Commentary. David Briley, teacher at Reiche Community School, writes on Education Post that the culture of a teacher-powered school empowers teachers to take ownership, collaborate, and find solutions for making things happen.

Teachers—Stop Waiting, and Start Calling the Shots

Commentary. Kim Farris-Berg describes teacher leaders who found ways to create their own schools—and encourages other teachers to do the same.

What It’s Like to Teach in a Teacher-Led School

Commentary. Carrie Bakken, teacher and program coordinator at Avalon School, describes how teachers in teacher-powered schools accept greater accountability for school success by controlling the curriculum, budget, professional development, and personnel decisions.

School stories

School Stories Written by Teacher Ambassadors

Webpage. Teacher Ambassadors from the Teacher-Powered Schools Initiative share their beginnings, challenges, and triumphs in these short reports about their schools.

Northwest Passage High School

Article. A profile of Northwest Passage High School from Education Reimagined.

Case studies: Avalon School (St. Paul, MN)

Can Teachers Run Their Own Schools?

Case study. Charles Taylor Kerchner finds that teacher-powered schools should inform our education practices.

How a Teacher Partnership Manages a Public School

Discussion notes. Teacher Carrie Bakken explains how she and her colleagues manage a public school using a teacher-powered partnership model.

Case studies: Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy (Denver, CO)

Math and Science Leadership Academy: Creating a Teacher-Led School for Diverse Learners

Case study. An inside look at the Math and Science Leadership Academy in Denver, Colorado.

Portrait of a Teacher-Led School

Journal article. An insider’s view of how a teacher-powered school, the Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy, operates.

Teachers Lead the Way in Denver

Journal article. A rationale for the creation of teacher-powered schools and an analysis of factors that contributed to the success of the Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy.

Case studies: Minnesota New Country School (Henderson, MN)

The Coolest School in America: How Small Learning Communities Are Changing Everything

Book. Doug Thomas, Walter Enloe, and Ron Newell explore the Minnesota New Country School, where teachers have control of the learning program, the hiring and retention of personnel, and are responsible for the success of the school.

EdVisions Schools: Essential School Design Features

Video series. Learn about Minnesota New Country School, where teachers created small learning communities, self-directed and project-based learning programs, and authentic assessment.

Case studies: Pilot Schools (Boston, MA and Los Angeles, CA)

The Belmont Zone of Choice: Community-Driven Action for School Change

Report. LAUSD Local District 4 educators and the Belmont Educational Collaborative led the development of a groundbreaking agreement to create a network of high-caliber, theme-based public schools for families to select from based on students’ interests. Some of these schools are teacher-powered.

Boston Pilot Schools

Report. Learn about a group of teachers who created a teacher-powered school in a district setting.

Los Angeles Pilot Schools

Commentary. Learn about how teacher-powered LA Pilot Schools secure autonomy and what they do with their decision making authority using this CTQ resource and the links within.

Case studies: Wisconsin Schools

An Improbable School: Transforming How Teachers Teach and Students Learn

Book. Educators Paul Tweed and Liz Seubert share how a vision that began in a school bus turned mobile lab became a teacher-powered public charter school, and how their "Seven Essentials" have led to engaged students, pleased parents, and a trusting board that empowers the learning community.


Denver’s Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy: Teachers, Learners, Leaders

Video. NEA Priority Schools shows how teachers at one school use collaborative planning time to meet with their peers, analyze data, and design instruction that meets student needs.

Good Morning Mission Hill/A Year at Mission Hill Video Series

Documentary. Tom and Amy Valens show what teaching and learning look like at the teacher-powered Mission Hill K-8 School in Boston, MA.

Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy

Video. This brief video describes the Math and Science Leadership Academy in Denver, CO.

Teaching and Learning in a Teacher-Powered School

Video series. Learn what’s it like to teach and learn in a teacher-powered school.

Teacher-Run School Makes Stunning Progress in Lawrence, MA

Video. More than doubling their state math results, the Oliver Partnership School in Lawrence, MA shows that when teachers have power and support from the school district, student performance improves.

Documentation of the Exploration Process

Year of Exploration, The First Six Months

Timeline. The Reiche School Team, a school that converted from traditional to teacher-powered governance, documented their exploration process.

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