Tony Porter named Teach Plus Mississippi Policy Fellow

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Tony Porter

JANS – JPS teacher Tony Porter has been selected as a member of the Teach Plus Mississippi 2023-2024 Policy Fellows. As a member of the Science of Reading Working Group, Porter will help the team answer how Mississippi can build upon our nationally-recognized reading gains.

He is among 20 demonstrably effective Mississippi teachers selected for Teach Plus’ fifth cohort. Fellows hail from every corner of the state including first-time districts like Pascagoula-Gautier and Lauderdale County. The Fellows will be working to build on the successes of the state’s reading gains and advocating for equitable funding for Mississippi’s schools and meaningful policy change to address teachers’ and students’ mental health challenges.

“The fifth Mississippi cohort is our most diverse, not just in terms of race and years of experience but also regionally,” said Sanford Johnson, Teach Plus Mississippi executive director. “There are school districts in each corner of the state where we now have Policy Fellows for the first time. A key priority for our Fellows is to build on the success of Mississippi’s reading gains and apply the lessons learned to achieve other policy priorities. I couldn’t be more excited to continue to elevate the voices and ideas of teacher leaders who use their classroom experience and policy skills to advocate for their students.”

Porter, an 8th grade ELA teacher at Blackburn Middle School, said: “As a Teach Plus Fellow, I hope to gain an in-depth understanding of policies, the roles and responsibilities of policymakers, and how to contribute to the policymaking process, ideally with cultural diversity driving decision-making.”

Mississippi’s 5th cohort of Policy Fellows includes National Board Certified Teachers, school and district teachers of the year, and even the mayor of a small town in the Delta. The Fellows represent over 15 school districts and charter schools across the state, and over half of the cohort are teachers of color.

These teacher leaders come from vastly different educational backgrounds. Some entered classrooms immediately after earning education degrees, some entered the profession through alternate route programs, while others entered teaching after years of work in other sectors. They represent schools in every region of the state, and they teach a variety of subjects and age levels from early elementary to high school.

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Tony Porter named Teach Plus Mississippi Policy Fellow

By Jackson Advocate News Service
September 18, 2023