Why Are Teachers Seen as the Party of ‘No?’
Dr. Celine Coggins, CEO of Teach Plus, spent time with Dr. Rod Berger discussing the role education plays in helping educators build their own understanding for how policy impacts practice and overall enjoyment of practice. Coggins pulls back the proverbial curtain to share her own initial experiences exploring teaching as an option for her own career. The response her parents provided, though less than inspiring, provides context to the underground image so many Americans have about education and the decision to work in the sector.
Coggins successfully altered the script to bring Teach Plus to the forefront of the national conversation regarding the storylines supporting education and driving impactful changes. Core components of Coggins and Teach Plus center on equity, resource scarcity and accountability.
Equity – How do we reach all kids?
Resource Scarcity – How do we do it with limited dollars?
Accountability – How do we know we are making the best use of dollars?
Coggins started her career as a classroom teacher in Worcester, Massachusetts. She went on to become a special assistant to the Massachusetts Commissioner of Education, working on a set of initiatives to improve the quality of the state’s teaching force. Upon completing her PhD at Stanford University, Coggins returned to her home state to work at Cambridge’s Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy, an education-focused think tank. She originally launched Teach Plus as a subsidiary of the Center.
Under her leadership, Teach Plus has introduced three groundbreaking programs that put teachers at the center of school- and system-level reform: The Teaching Policy Fellowship that empowers teachers to have a voice in policy discussions that impact their classrooms; the T3 Initiative designed to ensure that high-need students have access to excellent teachers; and the Teach Plus Network of more than 15,000 teachers nationwide.
A nationally-recognized expert on teacher leadership, education policy standards and accountability, and union politics, Coggins has addressed audiences at the Philanthropy Roundtable, the Askwith Forum at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and on NBC’s Education Nation. She appears regularly in the media and has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic, among many others. Celine earned a BA in psychology from the College of Holy Cross, an MA in educational research and measurement from Boston College, and a PhD in education policy analysis from Stanford University. She is a National Center for Teacher Quality advisor, an Aspen Institute Education Fellow, and a Mind Trust Education Entrepreneurship Fellow. She is the author of more than two dozen reports and journal articles and editor of three books. The New Teacher Project recently named Celine one of their favorite thinkers of 2013. Celine lives in Milton, MA.