February 20, 2020
What's New at NCTR?
Kevin Levay joined NCTR as Manager of Research & Data this month. In this role, he supports NCTR and partner programs in collecting, analyzing, and reporting data to demonstrate and enhance the effectiveness of teacher residencies. Prior to joining NCTR, Kevin worked as a researcher developing communications strategies to support the non-profit sector in building public understanding of social and scientific issues, including informal STEM learning, early math learning, and academic motivation. He has also conducted research on the effects of race, class, and gender on public opinion toward the use of punishment in the U.S. criminal justice and education systems, and taught U.S. politics and research methodology at Northwestern University. Kevin received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Temple University and his PhD in political science from Northwestern University. He is based in Chicago. 
Partner Update

In a February 4 op-ed in The Tennessean newspaper, Memphis Teacher Residency was named as a “job-embedded pathway” that provides “an alternate route into the classroom while maintaining high standards” by author and Tennessee State School Board Member Elissa Kim. 

Created to address educational inequality that “exists along economic and racial lines” and condemns children to “substandard educational opportunities based solely on their zip code,” Memphis Teacher Residency trained Luke Savidge, a current instructional coach poised to lead a new middle school Bluff City Collegiate: one of only four new charter school applications filed in Shelby County this year, according to The Daily Memphian.

Clarkson University’s My Brother’s Keeper Teaching Opportunity Corps II program in New York state—a Master of Arts in Teaching certification culminating in a full-year teaching residency in a high-need school facing teacher shortage—offers scholarships to traditionally underrepresented teachers, like Brooklyn native KaiChe' Roxborough, who intends to teach financial literacy and other business topics. 

Black History Month Focus 

Preview of Emerging NCTR Research on Teachers of Color in Residencies

The growing body of evidence indicating that all students, and especially students of color, benefit from having teachers of color in their schools is driving change in teacher preparation. But diversifying the teacher pipeline to ensure these benefits for an ever-diversifying nation of students has proved challenging for school systems, traditional educator preparation programs, and state policymakers. The research is one reason why NCTR partners focus on attracting a diverse teacher candidate pool in which 55 percent of the teachers-in-training identify as persons of color – more than twice the diversity rate of teachers nationally. Crucial to the residency model and the success of pre-service teachers, also, are mentor teachers, and 43 percent of these professionals training and guiding NCTR residents are also people of color.

This impact suggests that elements of teacher residency recruitment, selection, and preparation processes influence how and why candidates from diverse backgrounds are choosing teacher residencies.  

For a forthcoming report “Teacher Residencies as a Vehicle to Recruit Teachers of Color,” NCTR has conducted a qualitative study, interviewing graduates and staff from five urban residencies in our Network.  These interviews reveal three major strategies that—when intentionally applied by teacher training programs, and found to be especially effective in the residency model—address recruitment barriers that prevent high-quality teachers of color from entering teaching and enriching students and schools in communities that may benefit the most. 

The research shows that recruiting a diverse candidate pool is most successful when programs:

  • Focus on specific communities to recruit diverse candidates; 
  • Employ culturally responsive supports for recruits before and after they enroll; and, 
  • Are intentionally designed to promote and value diversity, equity, and inclusion mindsets and structures.   

The report further reveals that one distinguishing factor in the residency model is that the programs are designed explicitly to meet the needs of districts—namely urban and high needs districts, where new teachers are most likely to be placed.  Also, the residencies being focused on providing extensive clinical training in schools like those where the teacher candidates will ultimately teach results in an aligned pre-service to inservice experience that benefits students, communities, and schools.  

“Teacher Residencies as a Vehicle to Recruit Teachers of Color” will be released this spring.

In the News

States are Burying Damning Data About School Funding
New York Times

This op-ed by EdTrust’s Ari Amerikaner warns that states withholding data about per-pupil spending in public schools alters decision-making in ways that harm students. But a federal reporting requirement should reveal these figures from all states by mid-year.

Luring Scientists Back to High School Lab Could Be Key to Filling Teacher Shortage

With 5 of the 11 most in-demand teaching roles in the sciences, Missouri school systems are reaching into industry for second-career professionals that can deliver high-quality science instruction.

K-12 Teachers of Engineering in U.S. Lack Needed Preparation and Support from Education System
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

This new brief identifies gaps in preparation for engineering teachers, plus tips for increasing the pool (and diversity) of skilled teachers of engineering in the U.S.
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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