Under the previous iteration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, No Child Left Behind, states could mostly “paint by number,” but ESSA has given states an opportunity to think fresh about the plans they are creating. In “Painting the ESSA Canvas: Four Ideas for States to Think Big on Educator Quality,” New America interviewed leaders from four organizations to describe clear, actionable ideas for states who are ready to think big and use ESSA Title II-A funds strategically. New America’s interviews each dig into one of four areas: 1) educator preparation; 2) educator recruitment and retention; 3) educator evaluation and support systems; and 4) comprehensive professional learning systems. Public Impact’s Bryan Hassel and Stephanie Dean are featured in the interview on educator recruitment and retention.
Recruit, Select, and Keep Education Talent
Opportunity Culture roles have attracted great teachers across the country, producing strong recruiting results for schools of all kinds. But having great roles is not enough. Early, active recruitment and strong communications are essential to reach great candidates—both within a district and from elsewhere—and encourage them to apply for Opportunity Culture roles. Some Opportunity Culture schools begin active recruitment the prior fall, rather than waiting until spring or summer. This 4-page toolkit walks districts through the key recruiting steps. Each step includes actions and linked tools. Page 4 summarizes all the actions into one linked checklist.
This toolkit helps district, school, and charter management organization leaders select teachers and staff members for the school models of an Opportunity Culture. Districts that have created an Opportunity Culture have seen a surge of applications; this toolkit helps leaders adapt to a higher volume of applications and the chance that offers to become highly selective in hiring. The kit helps leaders screen and prioritize candidates for these new roles, which require new behaviors and skills. For ease of use and downloading, this toolkit walks users through the steps of selecting candidates for Opportunity Culture roles. Begin with the Overview, which explains the screening process, followed by full explanations of the individual steps. Each step includes a set of considerations, action steps, and links to relevant tools and resources.
Paid Educator Residencies, Within Budget: How New School Models Can Radically Improve Teacher and Principal Preparation details how to create paid, full-time, yearlong residencies for aspiring teachers and principals, within existing budgets. Aspiring teachers become part of a team led by a multi-classroom leader, while aspiring principals receive intensive coaching and support from a multi-school leader and a team of principals.
State and district leaders have a chance under ESSA (the 2016 Every Student Succeeds Act) to use their new funding flexibility to take a new approach that focuses on excellence for teachers, and students. This brief and one-page executive summary explain four opportunities to go beyond the requirements of ESSA to achieve a culture of excellence, one that attracts even more talented educators, keeps them for long careers, and helps them excel. Read the related opinion piece by Emily Ayscue Hassel and Bryan C. Hassel on Real Clear Education.
In this idea paper, Public Impact’s co-directors, Emily Ayscue Hassel and Bryan C. Hassel, lay out a vision for how districts can reach dramatically more students with great principals, for much higher pay, within budget—giving principals a career path that keeps them connected to students and schools through Multi-School Leadership. The “leadership machine” is powered by teacher leadership: Accountable multi-classroom leaders co-lead instruction schoolwide with principals, and also earn more, and make it possible for great principals to extend their reach, too.
Improving teacher quality in college preparatory courses has great potential to raise rural Idaho students’ low college enrollment rate. Only 80 percent of rural Idaho students graduate from high school—and only 51 percent enroll in college. One critical factor contributing to low college-going rates in Idaho is the lack of rigorous preparation students need to succeed in college and career. In this paper written for the Rural Opportunities Consortium of Idaho, Public Impact examines the challenges that prevent rural schools from providing great teaching, and presents four strategies for increasing access to highly effective instruction in rural Idaho. Through a combination of grow-your-own preparation programs, customized teacher recruitment strategies, innovative approaches to extending the reach of excellent teachers, and blended online and in-person methods for teacher training, Idaho can improve teacher quality in college preparatory courses.