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ESSA Advocacy in Action: Handbook and Practice Guides

Our resources support local Associations and educators in advocating for students and great public schools.
Published: July 2020

Today’s educators have a tremendous opportunity to place themselves in the center of efforts to ensure that every student in America attends a great public school. We've developed two resources to help educators and local Association leaders understand the law and harness their collective power to promote and secure student-centered, educator-driven policies and collaborative structures.

Advocating for Great Public Schools

The Advocating for Great Public Schools handbook equips you with the knowledge and tools to transform your workplace and community by developing leadership skills. In it, you'll find:

  • Conversation starters for talking with others about the Association's priorities
  • Exercises to assist you in defining goals, engaging the public, and building a coalition
  • Planning templates for engaging the media, sponsoring a school board resolution, and other advocacy work.

The content of this handbook is aligned with each element of our Great Public Schools framework. The research-based Great Public Schools framework consists of hundreds of indicators that create an infrastructure for excellent public schools. Connecting policy goals to those indicators will help ensure that you identify solutions that specifically address the needs of your students and schools.

Raising Your Voice

The Raising Your Voice guide complements the handbook by providing:

  • Potential policy and practice goals by topic, with paired actions
  • Sample school board resolutions on ending the overuse of standardized testing, endorsing Community Schooling, and more
  • Sample policy statements on teacher support and evaluation, mentoring, and more
  • Sample contract language for securing class sizes, implementing restorative practices, and more.

Are you an affiliate?

Jump to updates, opportunities, and resources for NEA state and local affiliates.
Student looking through microscope

Opportunity Is Here

Do students and educators at your school have everything they need? Use our short checklist to see what your students deserve and where your school can grow.
National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.