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
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.
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.
This two-page report speaks directly to excellent teachers and those aspiring to excellence to introduce the concepts of an Opportunity Culture and its benefits for teachers and staff, explaining why they should advocate for new school models and policies that support an Opportunity Culture. A related slide presentation for school and district leaders, with speaker notes or without, helps them explain what teaching and learning could look like in an Opportunity Culture.
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.
What brings excellent teachers in droves to apply for jobs in hard-to-staff schools? Project L.I.F.T. in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District started by offering a complete Opportunity Culture package of career advancement roles, then advertised those roles early, often, and clearly—leading to a strong uptick in both the quantity and quality of applicants for teaching roles at schools that previously saw many positions go unfilled. L.I.F.T. leaders explain how they did it in this brief vignette, with an accompanying video of principals and district leaders sharing how an Opportunity Culture attracts great teachers.
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.