What will the Advocacy and Leadership Summit be like?

This event is FREE to all NCTE members and includes:

  • One-and-a-half days of workshops, featured speakers, and other learning opportunities focused on teacher impact on education policy
  • Visits to legislative offices on Capitol Hill
  • The opportunity to network with members from across the country
  • Complimentary dinner, breakfast, and lunch
  • A personalized certificate of participation


Special Note: On Friday we’ll be meeting in the historic Kennedy Caucus Room in the Russell Senate Office Building, a spot where many famous hearing and events have taken place. Who knows what history we’ll make there together!


Participants are responsible for securing their own lodging and transportation to and from the summit.

Featured Speakers


Sharon M. Draper is a professional educator as well as an accomplished writer. She has been honored as the National Teacher of the Year, is a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Literary Awards, and is also a New York Times bestselling author. Sharon was invited to be the keynote speaker at NCTE’s Advocacy and Leadership Summit luncheon because of the message she delivers so forcefully regarding teachers having superpowers when it comes to building a literate society. Her address will elevate and inspire NCTE members and educate elected leaders and their staffs regarding the essential role teachers play in furthering our democracy.


Claudio Sanchez is an Education Correspondent for NPR with a unique understanding of his beat because he is also a former elementary and middle school teacher. He focuses on the “three p’s” of education reform: politics, policy and pedagogy. Sanchez’s reports air regularly on NPR’s award-winning newsmagazines Morning EditionAll Things Considered, and Weekend Edition. He was invited to be the keynote speaker at NCTE’s Advocacy and Leadership Summit dinner because of his insightful and award-winning storytelling. We look forward to his insights into how our own stories can play a role in fostering change.




Thursday, April 12

Location: US Capitol Visitor’s Center, SVC 212
2:00 p.m.     Welcome and Overview

2:30–5:00 p.m.     Learning Sessions
(Attendees who have participated in Hill visits before may be scheduled for visits at this time.)

Session topics include: an overview of current education legislation from Senate and House staff, an insider’s look at the Department of Education, and an overview of the current status of ESSA.

Location: The Monocle Restaurant 107 D Street NE, Washington, DC 20002
5:30–7:00 p.m.     Dinner and Keynote Address from NPR Correspondent Claudio Sanchez


Friday, April 13

Location: Kennedy Caucus Room, Russell Senate Office Building
9:00 a.m.     Breakfast and Logistics from NCTE

9:15 a.m.     Welcome from Legislators and Review of Office Visits

10:00–11:30 a.m.     Learning Sessions and Hill Visits

Session topics include: an overview of the appropriations process from Senate and House staff, an insider’s look at education reporting, and an exploration of the relationship between research and policy.

11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.     Lunch and Keynote Address from author Sharon Draper

1:15 – 2:30     Guided tours of the Capitol

Location: Hall of the States, 444 North Capitol St NW
1:00–3:30 p.m.     Learning Sessions and Hill Visits

Session topics include: a discussion of current issues in assessment and reflections from members on their work in policy and advocacy.

4:00 p.m.     Closing


Advocacy Day 2017 Photos


Take a peek at what last year’s event entailed. We look forward to more great experiences this year!

Members came from all across the country and met with their representatives or staff from 35 different offices in both the House and the Senate.

The morning began with talks from Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Chair of the House Education and Workforce Committee, Emily Kirkpatrick, and Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), Ranking Member of the House Education and Workforce Committee.

Representative Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) addressed our group in the morning. He told the assembled teachers, “What each of you do . . . all of it is essential not only to our students but to our society as a whole.”

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) meets with Alfredo Luján, chair of NCTE’s policy and advocacy subcommittee.

Staff and NCTE members meet with Sarah Schenning (bottom left), legislative director for Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). Also pictured: Lu Ann McNabb, Veronica Joyner, Elizabeth Primas, Elizabeth Pegram, and Kristen Nielsen

Representative Charlie Crist, (D-FL) met with former NCTE President Susan Houser.

Member Jenny Martin brought students from her teacher education program at Bridgewater College for Advocacy Day. They joined with other Virginia educators to meet with several staffers from the state.