Initiative Overview

Battelle for Kids (BFK) supports teacher leaders in using technology to connect teachers in rural, remote districts to their peers. BFK has developed an innovative online badging system that recognizes teacher leaders’ demonstrated mastery leadership skills supporting Common Core State Standards (CCSS) implementation. BFK has already had proven success with this badging system as part of a larger implementation of an effective teacher leadership model. With this Teacher Practice Networks grant, BFK will continue its work in Ohio and Tennessee and reach out to support teachers in rural areas of Colorado.

Strategies for Advancing Common Core

Teacher Leaders

BFK is supporting more than 80 teacher leaders—called Curators—who demonstrate strong teacher leadership skills. Across Ohio, Tennessee, and Colorado, these Curators provide in-person and online professional learning that directly supports networks of rural teachers as they make CCSS-aligned instructional shifts. Through this approach, even teachers in remote areas with few in-person opportunities for collegial learning have virtual access to their Curator’s instructional coaching and support.

To scale CCSS implementation more broadly, BFK Curators use social media (e.g., Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook) to share and blog about CCSS-aligned tools and resources to audiences within and beyond their teacher network. BFK Curators will also present at local and national conferences.

Teacher Leadership Capacity

Curators participate in BFK’s unique online badging system that acknowledges competency on a set of leadership skills. As Curators facilitate in-person and online professional learning, offer coaching on CCSS-aligned practices (e.g., formative assessments), and provide constructive feedback based on classroom observations, they earn badges towards becoming a master teacher leader, or master Curator.

BFK strengthens Curators’ capacity by connecting them with these identified master teacher leaders who can share CCSS-related expertise and resources with them. The master teacher leaders also help Curators leverage technology to broaden their reach. These online connections strengthen state-based and local partner organizations to scale and sustain these efforts to improve teachers’ CCSS-aligned instruction.


In each of the three states — Ohio, Tennessee, and Colorado — BFK is broadening and deepening the work of this grant by building on relevant relationships, such as state education agencies, regional service agencies, professional associations, and improvement networks. Partnerships include the Coalition of Ohio Rural and Appalachian Schools, the Tennessee Rural Education Association, and the Colorado Education Initiative.

General Information

Battelle for Kids
1160 Dublin Road, Suite 500
Columbus, OH 43215

Brad Mitchell, Managing Director of Innovation
(614) 488-3141

Colleen Bullett, Communications Specialist

2013 – 2015 Initiative of Battelle for Kids