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Partner Updates

The Project Inspire Teacher Residency welcomed its ninth cohort of teacher residents last month. Some residents came from as far away as Colorado and Maryland, while others had already been serving students of Hamilton County, Tennessee. Orientation included the People’s History of Chattanooga tour, a segment led by previous residents on implicit bias in the classroom, and an introduction to the school sites where residents will serve this year.
 

The Kansas City Teacher Residency recently undertook an examination of its business model with the help of Bellwether Education Partners. Executive Director Charles King said the process has him thinking differently about sustainability. “For the model to be sustainable, you have to think about growing partnerships from a financial aspect so that partners are engaging and investing in the work you are doing. Avoid the pitfall of being pigeonholed into just one element of the program. … Residencies also support ongoing coaching, training, and retention efforts. Residencies can and should be hands-on and drive innovative work with schools.”

Research

Black principals increase the hiring of black teachers up to 7 percent, and they also increase the likelihood of retaining them, according to a new working paper. Researchers from Vanderbilt University analyzed data from schools in Missouri and Tennessee. The research suggests that black principals are better at hiring teachers of color because they have access to wider and more diverse recruiting networks, and that more qualified black teachers may prefer working for black principals.
Featured News

How Race and Gender Affect Teacher Evaluations in Michigan

Teachers of color in Michigan are more likely to be rated “minimally effective” or “ineffective” on their evaluations than their white colleagues, according to “Race and Gender Differences in Teacher Evaluation Ratings and Teacher Employment Outcomes,” a new policy brief published by the Education Policy Innovation Collaborative. The study used teacher evaluation data from Michigan to assess which teacher and school characteristics were especially related to low evaluation scores.

The researchers noted that although “minimally effective” and “ineffective” ratings are rare in Michigan–comprising less than 3 percent of all evaluations–those low ratings were disproportionately given to teachers of color. For example:
  • Nearly 19 percent of black teachers in Michigan received a low rating from 2011 to 2016, compared to just 7 percent of white teachers.
  • Teachers of color—especially black teachers—were 50 percent more likely to receive low evaluations than white teachers within the same school, and teachers of color in schools with a predominately white faculty were even more likely to receive low ratings.
Researchers also found problems across gender: male teachers in the study were more likely to receive poor evaluations than female teachers.

The research also suggests that the makeup of a school’s faculty is predictive of teacher evaluations. Black teachers, for example, were less likely to receive poor evaluations if they taught in schools with diverse faculties.  

Finally, the type of school mattered: Teachers in charter schools were more often rated poorly compared to teachers in traditional public schools.

The report states that evaluations are supposed to measure teacher performance fairly and without bias. When that doesn’t occur, the evaluation system loses credibility and “the broader system’s reputation for fairness may be harmed–ultimately affecting teacher retention and recruitment.”
In the News
Opinion: Better Schools Won’t Fix America
The Atlantic
A decimated middle class is the root cause of public school decline. Restore wages to the middle class and good schools will follow, the author argues.
What budget cuts during the Great Recession did to pupils’ test scores
The Economist
Imagine that a school district replaced all its average teachers with near-bottom-quality teachers–budget cuts during the Great Recession had a similar effect on pupil scores.
5 Relationship-Building Tips for Instructional Coaches
Edutopia
A K-8 instructional coach offers ideas on how to build strong ties with teachers. One idea: feed them chocolate.
            
Please note that the articles and events in the NCTR E-Blast do not reflect the opinions of our organization, but rather represent information that we believe will be relevant to you and your programs.

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