The VIVA Project

  • IL


3023 N. Clark St., Suite 763
United States

About Us

The VIVA Project is the creator of The VIVA Idea Exchange(tm) 

Voice, Ideas, Vision, Action

No one knows more about the daily challenges of educating children than classroom teachers do.

VIVA Teachers Idea Exchanges (VIVA stands for Voice, Ideas, Vision, Action) encourage teachers to contribute their ideas to create actionable recommendations and workable solutions about how to improve education policy.

Teachers from across the country discuss their concerns and share their ideas via the VIVA Teacher Idea Exchange, an online platform that provides a dynamic, moderated 24/7 process. It starts with participant ideas, leads to action plans, and ends with new policies.

In each VIVA Idea Exchange, teachers are asked to address a specific policy challenge or question. During the first stage, teachers contribute ideas and suggestions in a moderated conversation that is safe and focused. Then a small group of thought leaders from Phase I are invited to join a Writing Collaborative charged with distilling the ideas into actionable recommendations. The third phase occurs when members of the Writing Collaborative deliver their ideas in person to highranking government officials with the interest in and power to make change.

Since September 2010, we have conducted 10 VIVA Idea Exchanges in Arizona, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Chicago, and two nationwide collaborations. These reports have been used to inform policy by:

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Governor Mark Dayton

Iowa Education Director Jason Glass, Arizona Education Superintendent John

Huppenthal, Board of Education President Jaime Molera, The Massachusetts

Teachers' Union, Education Commissioner Chris Cerf (to be delivered in March 2013)

Over 3,500 teachers participated in a VIVA Teachers' Idea Exchange. Almost 100 of them have become social media activists working to generate support from fellow teachers for their policy ideas.

51% of VIVA Teachers work in urban school district while 22% work in rural school districts 94% of VIVA Teachers work in traditional public schools and 6% work in public

charter schools VIVA Teachers have taken a stand with specific, actionable ideas for:

• Creating Professional Evaluations That Assess Teacher and

Principal's effectiveness on student learning

• Extending and Revising Time in School to increase student

learning time

• Implementing Common Core and other strategies to increase

the content of student learning