NCTR E-Blast
January 27, 2016


As National Mentoring Month comes to a close, we want to thank all the teacher-leaders that continue to make the residency model effective!  Mentors support emerging teachers throughout the residency preparation year with their time, resources, coaching skills and expertise as classroom educators. 

NCTR has just concluded New Site Development Learning Institute II with emerging network programs Kansas City Teacher Residency, St. Paul Urban Teacher Residency, and West Texas Teacher Training (WT3) Residency Program. The Institute offered program staff training and professional development around the strategic recruitment of new residents, techniques for tracking data in the first two years of their program, and mentor training and selection. Thank you to our expert panelists from Aspire Teacher Residency, the Seattle Teacher Residency, New York Department of Education and the American Institutes of Research (AIR) who shared guidance and best practices from the field.
In a recent op-ed in the Seattle Times Mia Tuan, Dean of University of Washington’s College of Education, detailed specific financial investments that would combat the state’s teacher shortage. She warns districts that lowering teaching standards to fill gaps in staffing with unqualified teachers will only exacerbate the shortage problem. Instead, Dean Tuan proposed increasing the minimum teacher salary, offering loan forgiveness and tuition reimbursement and embedding mentorship programs into the teaching model would stave off continued attrition.
New Visions for Public Schools is offering cost-free professional development opportunities for New York teachers during the Spring of 2016. Course offerings reach all grade levels and cover a variety of subject areas and approaches to teaching.
In an op-ed written by Ken Zeichner, the distinguished Professor of Teacher Education at the University of Washington, the Seattle Teacher Residency (STR) was lauded for its important work in closing the city's student achievement gap. Alleged decreases in the district's funding to STR could threaten the program's operations. Zeichner calls this "a shortsighted decision that is not in the best interest of students in the district."
New Report Uses Residency Programs to Highlight Importance of Strong District and Preparation Program Partnerships

In a joint report, Ensuring High Quality Teacher Talent: How Strong District-Teacher Preparation Program Partnerships Are Transforming The Teacher Pipeline (EHQTT), released last week, Education First and The Joyce Foundation named the elements needed to ensure a strong partnership between teacher prep providers and the school districts they serve.  The report highlights examples of successful partnerships, a group that includes several NCTR network partners, from across the country. The report suggests both districts and prep programs share critically important responsibilities that ensure educators are prepared to enter the classroom. 

EHQTT suggests that districts must be fluent in its prep partners’ methods of clinical preparation and be ready to share their unique hiring needs with its partners.  In turn, preparation programs must understand the standards, approaches to evaluation and historical challenges facing the district to properly train teachers.  The report studied real partnership examples through three stages of development: Initiation, Implementation and Continuous Improvement.

To prevent misalignment between a prep program’s clinical preparation and coursework, partners must set clear shared goals on use of tools, resources, measurements and program data integration. EHQTT advises that data points should be a primary focus of regular meetings between partners as they track the growth of teacher candidates.  Districts should provide prep programs with data on current district-wide strengths and needed improvements. 

EHQTT points out that mentorship is a key tenet of the teacher residency model and recommends that school leaders and prep programs jointly select, train and pair mentors with their mentees.  It also suggests that mentor selection be tied to performance data and detailed screenings so the teachers asked to serve as mentors are both the most qualified and the most passionate about collaborative learning. 

Finally, EHQTT reminds districts and prep programs to avoid maintaining the status quo and instead allow for the regular adjustments to the preparation process and engage in joint planning and evaluation of teacher candidates.  The report offers many policy recommendations, including allowances for flexibility around organizations that can provide teaching licensure, language which is included in ESSA.
The Every Student Succeeds Act: What’s In It? What Does it Mean for Equity? (The Education Trust)

The Education Trust created a detailed summary and useful fact sheets for specific levers within ESSA.  Subjects covered in the fact sheets are: Standards, Assessments, Accountability Systems, Public Reporting, Teachers and Leaders and Funding information contained within ESSA. 
It’s 2016: Do You Know Where The Teachers Are? (AIR Education Policy Center’s InformED Blog)

AIR recently created a guide that debunks myths and provides greater understanding around the nationwide teacher shortage. 
National Network Seeks to Get More H.S. Students Interested in Teaching (Education Week)

As teacher shortages become an increasingly pressing issue across the country, Educators Rising (formerly Future Educators Association) is helping school districts guide students toward the teaching profession. The program focuses on the “grow your own” model and seeks to bring support and resources to school systems that will allow them to build a pipeline of teachers who understand the demands and needs of their communities. 
California to Reimburse Costs Related to Common Core Tests (EdSource)
California’s Commission on State Mandates found that the state’s school districts’ technology costs related to the administration of California’s Assessment of Student Performance and Progress program might be reimbursable to the tune of $600 million dollars.  

New York State Training Aspiring Teachers in the Classroom (US Department of Education)

Some new teachers in New York report feeling better prepared to the hit the ground running as they become teacher of record under the state’s new Clinically Rich Preparation Program. Program components of this pilot initiative mirror key elements, like intensive clinical preparation and mentorship, of the teacher residency model.

Transforming Professional Learning: Statewide District Collaboration

Thursday, January 28
2 – 3 P.M. EST
Facilitated by The Professional Learning Association

Teaching for Deeper Learning for All Students

Tuesday, February 2
2 – 3 P.M. EST
Hosted by The Alliance for Excellent Education and The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future

The Every Student Succeeds Act: What You Need to Know
Tuesday, February 2
3 – 4 P.M. EST
Presented by ASCD

*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.