#TeachStrong: National education organizations rally together to elevate the teaching profession


About a week ago, a group of national education organizations launched a new social media campaign to elevate the teaching profession called #TeachStrong. The effort, while long overdue, is notable for being a diverse coalition of organizations that often disagree with each other, including Teach For America, Educators for Excellence, TNTP and others, along with the nation’s two largest teacher’s unions — the AFT and NEA.

Here at the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, we’ve been working to support great teachers and teaching for a long time, through programs like the annual EDDY Awards, a celebration of the excellent educators in Duval County, and the Teacher Roundtable, which seeks to elevate the voices of teachers in education policy discussions.

The coalition’s core principles, which JPEF heartily endorses, include:

  1. Identify and recruit more diverse teacher candidates with great potential to succeed, with a deliberate emphasis on diversifying the teacher workforce.

  2. Reimagine teacher preparation to make it more rooted in classroom practice and a professional knowledge base, with universal high standards for all candidates.

  3. Raise the bar for licensure so it is a meaningful measure of readiness to teach.

  4. Increase compensation in order to attract and reward teachers as professionals.

  5. Provide support for new teachers through induction or residency programs.

  6. Ensure tenure is a meaningful signal of professional accomplishment.

  7. Provide significantly more time, tools, and support for teachers to succeed, including through planning, collaboration, and development.

  8. Design professional learning to better address student and teacher needs, and to foster feedback and improvement.

  9. Create career pathways that give teachers opportunities to lead and grow professionally.

In fact, some of our work hits on these priorities directly, including the creation of the Jacksonville Teacher Residency (#5) through investments from JPEF and the Quality Education For All Fund, and the topics that have and are being discussed in the Teacher Roundtable (#7, #8 and #9).

Most importantly, as we approach the holiday next week, we must continue to thank those special individuals that have committed to educating the next generation of Jacksonville -- without their tireless work, our city’s future wouldn’t be nearly as bright as it is.

So, to all of our teachers, past and present, #TeachStrong.





of public schools in Duval County earned an "A," "B," or "C" in 2021-2022.