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What's new at NCTR?

NCTR has been awarded a $267,571 grant from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation to support California school districts, charter management organizations, and higher education institutions that are building or expanding teacher residency programs across the state. The grant will allow NCTR to accelerate its work with states and state policymakers, which are increasingly turning to the residency model to stem teacher shortages and to develop better prepared, more diverse, committed teachers for underserved students and schools.
 

NCTR and representatives from more than 30 partner programs kicked off our FY20 Network Programming this week with a virtual convening. Members learned about our network program goals and the scope and sequence of this year’s work, including a site visit in February and a series of virtual convenings. We are continuing the theme we introduced at our 2019 symposium: Teacher Residencies, a Lever for Equity. Network members had a chance to review last year’s end-of-year data, and to meet the NCTR staff they will be working with this year. We’re looking forward to another great year of learning and growing together!   
 

Research

A new study finds that the creation of predominately white “splinter” school districts across the south are becoming a barrier to integration. The study looks at 18 southern districts where smaller, new school systems were broken off from larger ones. Researchers found that the new districts are whiter and more affluent than the districts they left behind. This has important ramifications for desegregation efforts in those communities. ”Students are increasingly being sorted into different school districts by race,” Erica Frankenberg, a study coauthor and professor of education and demography at Pennsylvania State University. “The implications of this trend are profound.”
 
Featured News

Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act: Strategies for Increasing Diversity in the Educator Workforce 

Congressional leaders should use the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) to expand teacher residencies and make other significant improvements to how teachers of color are recruited and developed for districts by colleges and universities across the country, NCTR Board member Dr. Travis Bristol argues in a piece published by the Brookings Institution. Dr. Bristol outlines policy recommendations Congress could take to increase the number of Latino and Black teachers in light of the strong research demonstrating the “added value of Latino and Black teachers for Latino and Black students.”

When HEA was last reauthorized, in 2008, Congress created the Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant program which has helped launch and grow a number of successful residencies. Last fall, across both the Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) and TQP winners, nearly 40 percent were either teacher residency programs or projects with strong clinical preparation components. Dr. Bristol recommends Congress allocate permanent funding to expand and support teacher residencies “given the evidence of success that such programs have had recruiting teachers of color.” 

Dr. Bristol also recommends HEA include block funding to colleges and universities to help them better prepare teacher educators and improve their understanding of the dispositions and skills needed to prepare high-quality teacher candidates. “Incentivizing teacher preparation programs to provide access to professional development opportunities for teacher educators will be essential in order to enhance the quality of pre-service teachers entering the field,” he writes.

Finally, Congress could include new funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Historically Black Graduate Institutions, and Hispanic Serving Institutions that commit to increasing the number of teachers they train. Dr. Bristol recommends that Congress fund robust teacher recruitment campaigns at these institutions, and include resources for faculty professional development and a stipend during pre-service teachers’ practicums. Programs that require a minimum of six months of student teaching should be prioritized for funding, he writes.
In the News
Great Mentors Focus on the Whole Person, Not Just Their Career
Harvard Business Review
A holistic approach is what differentiates mentoring from coaching for skill-building.
Teachers, principals churn through Houston’s lowest-performing schools
Houston Chronicle
Nearly 40 of the city’s 260 district schools have, on average, replaced one-third to one-half of their teachers every year.
Schools teaching the poorest children face teacher shortages; this program aims to fix it
NOLA.com
NCTR’s partner the Norman C. Francis Teaching Residency in New Orleans is highlighted in this story about innovative teacher development programs that are working to reduce the city’s sky-high teacher turnover rate.
           
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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