What's New at NCTR?

NCTR attended the Learning To Teach conference in Denver last month. The conference is sponsored by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, which aims to dramatically increase the number of students of color, especially from low-income communities, who graduate high school prepared for college and the workplace. The foundation supports the residency model in pursuit of that goal. Conference attendees examined the Denver Public Schools’ focus on equity. Denver ensures novice teachers are equipped to deliver rigorous, standards-aligned, culturally responsive content on day one of their teaching careers. In addition, conference attendees identified emerging best practices for optimizing the clinical teaching experience, and they examined the role of high-quality instructional materials to build candidate content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge. Representing NCTR were Program Directors Shannon Black and Sarah Cohen, and Jill Pitner, our Chief of Growth. 
Featured News

Teacher Residencies: Core Competencies for High Impact on Student Achievement

NCTR and 10 of our partner programs have contributed to a new book on teacher residencies, “The Teacher Residency Model: Core Components for High Impact on Student Achievement.” The book, edited by professors at the University of New Mexico, covers several critical aspects of successful residency programs, such as the importance of authentic partnerships and the residency year curriculum. In this E-blast we’ll kick off an occasional series highlighting the key ideas from each chapter.

Carrianne Scheib, NCTR’s Director of Data and Impact, and Christine Brennan Davis, Chief Program Officer, authored a chapter titled “Scale and Sustainability of Residency Programs.” In addition to highlighting our partner programs that have worked with districts to maximize revenues, Scheib and Davis offer lessons learned from NCTR’s 13 years working in the field, including:
  • In order to improve sustainability, residencies must deeply understand their program’s business model and leverage that understanding to better negotiate support from partners, particularly district partners.
  • Residency programs must design and implement a quality evaluation plan so that they can measure success and use that data to communicate and promote their value.
  • The work of financial sustainability begins at the outset with a robust financial model that includes partner contributions from the start. These partnerships will need to be tended, renegotiated and will evolve over time. 
“Financial sustainability is critical to the long-term success of the residency movement, and if we are to truly change teacher preparation writ large, we need to ensure residencies can grow, expand, and meet the needs of their communities,” Schieb and Davis write.

Colorado’s Public Education and Business Coalition authored a chapter titled “Identifying and Recruiting Quality Residents.” The first step in graduating effective new teachers is finding and admitting the right candidates. For the PEBC Teacher Residency, that means establishing, nurturing, and growing trusting relationships with school districts and community organizations that can help the residency find and contact likely applicants.

Once residency directors have developed an applicant pool, they screen candidates for several “core dispositions” that they have found are essential to program completion: learning orientation; agency; identity; complexity and difference; and professionalism. This helps ensure the candidates have the right mindsets and attitudes necessary for effective teaching.

Throughout the process, PEBC collects and analyzes data so that it can continually assess and improve its strategies and implementation. “While the recruitment process is thoughtful and inclusive of myriad perspectives of diverse partners, what remains as critical components are the use of data, the establishment of cooperative, trusting relationships and reflective practices to continually refine the process,” the authors wrote.
The book is available from Lexington Books, an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group. Look for recaps of additional chapters in future E-blasts.

In the News
America’s schools are more diverse than ever. But the teachers are still mostly white.
The Washington Post
A Post analysis of school district data from 46 states and the District of Columbia finds that 99.7 percent of white students attended a district where the faculty was as white as the student body.
Black girls don't misbehave more than white girls — they're just punished more
USA Today
Black girls are referred to police and arrested at school at rates much higher than their white peers, according to the National Women’s Law Center.
The 7 most memorable pieces of education journalism for 2019
Kappan Online
A roundup of the most compelling and interesting journalism on schools and education from the last year. In some, schools are the setting, but not the focal point. 
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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