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Ed. Dept., National Board Plan Teacher-Leader Summits

The Education Department and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards will host three summits to boost teacher leadership, in Boston, Denver, and Louisville, Ky., the agency announced today. 

The groups say 31 organizations have joined the federal Teach to Lead initiative, which they announced in March. Supporters include both national teachers' unions, the associations for school principals, and the National Network of State Teachers of the Year. (Find the full list here.)

The summits are meant to bring together educators "to spur meaningful commitments to teacher leadership," such as scaling up programs or writing policies to support teacher leadership. Participants are supposed to come away with action plans.

In concept, this sounds similar to the labor-managment collaboration summits that the Education Department sponsored back in 2011. As I wrote at the time, it's anyone guess whether the compacts that came out of those meetings ultimately changed anything in union-district relationships. But the Teach to Lead summits seem like they'll have a bit more oversight, with the best plans becoming the basis for local labs meant to spotlight how to get the work done.

The summits will take place between December of this year and early 2015.

Why the three cities? The Education Department says all three have a history of teacher leadership. Boston, it said, offers leadership courses and opportunities for teachers who complete them to go on to new roles in schools; Kentucky is working to link board-certified teachers to high-needs schools; and Denver has a master certificate for teachers and offers additional compensation.

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