Enhanced Education Connections: Supporting Teacher Leaders in Local and Virtual Networks

Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in collaboration with the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning (CFTL) at WestEd, under its Teacher Practice Networks initiative, CAL’s Enhanced Education Connections project addresses two challenges faced by today’s schools—first, improving the educational achievement of English learner (EL) students in the context of Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and second, advancing teachers’ capacity for meeting the content and language learning needs of ELs in mainstream classrooms. In order to address these needs, Enhanced Education Connections promotes teacher leadership to better support ELs through Common Core–aligned instruction; invests in community-based, local relationship building as the basis for leveraging teachers as leaders; and identifies and cultivates new Teacher Leaders to shape and accelerate CCSS implementation that is EL relevant.

Enhanced Education Connections builds on the existing nationwide Education Connections network of over 3,000 educational practitioners, and expands to increase emphasis on growing Teacher Leaders. Enhanced Education Connections staff provide direct support to two cadres of Teacher Leaders who, in turn, engage in teacher-to-teacher support by creating their own networks and sharing strategies for Common Core–aligned instruction for ELs. On-the-ground, local, face-to-face, as well as intermediary collaboration and support is provided to the Teacher Leaders and their own extended networks by Questar III RBERN in New York’s Capital District and Confianza in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. 

CAL’s organizational partners include:

  • Confianza, MA
  • Questar III RBERN, NY
  • Division of Global and Online Education, University of Oregon, OR

CAL’s Local Educational Agency (LEA) partners include:

  • Fitchburg Public Schools, MA
  • City School District of Albany, NY
  • Greater Amsterdam School District, NY 

View a video highlighting Enhanced Education Connections’ work with Fitchburg Public Schools in Massachusetts.

Return to the Education Connections initiative project page

About the Project

Funder: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
September 2015 – August 2017