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Investing in Teacher Leadership as an Equity Imperative

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Presentation given to New Teacher Center for administrators and teachers making a compelling case for teacher leader initiatives as a means of recruiting and retaining great teachers.

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Investing in Teacher Leadership as an Equity Imperative

  1. 1. INVESTING IN TEACHER LEADERSHIP AS AN EQUITY IMPERATIVE Jan Fitzsimmons and Glenn “Max” McGee New Teacher Center Symposium 2020 February 10, 2020
  2. 2. The single most critical EQUITY issue nationwide is the teacher shortage; specifically, recruitment and retention of a high quality, diverse teacher workforce. 1
  3. 3. Teacher Shortage: Recruitment 2
  4. 4. Teacher Shortage: Diversity The shortages are especially severe in California. In 2017, LPI found that two-thirds of principals in high- poverty schools left positions vacant or hired less- qualified teachers. Less than half of their counterparts in schools with fewer lower-income students did so. According to Advance Illinois, in 2017, 90 percent of teacher vacancies in the state – 1,006 positions in all – were in underfunded school districts. Seventy-four percent were in majority-minority school districts, and 81 percent were in low-income districts. 3
  5. 5. erstanding-teacher-shortages-interactive National average <20% 4
  6. 6. Not only are we letting top teaching talent slip away, we are literally paying the price for losing them … Estimates for the annual national cost of teacher turnover run as high as $7.3 billion ... But more importantly, failure to retain effective teachers is costing students. Let’s talk Teacher Retention 5
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  10. 10. What is the source of “dissatisfaction”? Working conditions • Work load • Work/life balance Leadership issues • Autonomy • Respect • Appreciation 9
  11. 11. Observations from 200 school visits “We find PEAK (purpose, essentials, agency, knowledge) cultures in our innovative businesses and non-profits where employees have the agency to discover and invent. But we don’t find PEAK in most schools.” 10
  12. 12. How can we recruit and retain the best? 11
  13. 13. Invest in a culture of trust “A change in trust in management of just one-third of a standard deviation [~10%] has the same life satisfaction effect as a 31% change in income,” or as Covey, Link, and Merrill summarize in The Speed of Trust: “A 10% increase in trust has the same effect as a 30% increase in pay. ” With the financial challenges facing school districts in every state across the country, investing in trust makes sound financial sense and is likely to increase teacher retention rate and be a competitive advantage for recruitment. Helliwell, John F. and Huang, Haifant (2008) “Well-being and trust in the workplace” NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA. NBER WORKING PAPER 14589 We first have to TRUST teachers to be leaders 12
  14. 14. The Education Commission of the States reports: On the path to strengthen teacher pipelines, support excellent teaching and improve retention, many states have developed opportunities for teacher leadership and advancement. leadership-and-licensure-advancement/
  15. 15. Studies on teacher retention and attrition have suggested that more than 40 percent of of all teachers leave the profession within their first five years, and that high- poverty, high-minority public schools have even higher rates of turnover. Teachers with 10 or fewer years of experience now make up 45 percent of the overall teaching force. Research on the attitudes of these teachers indicates they want to grow as teachers and leaders and serve in different capacities as educators over their career, but by and large, these needs aren’t met by the education system. Ingersoll, R., Merrill, L., & Stuckey, D. (2014). Seven trends: the transformation of the teaching force, updated April 2014. CPRE Report (#RR-80). Philadelphia: Consortium for Policy Research in Education, University of Pennsylvania. Coggshall, J.G., Behrstock-Sherratt, E., & Drill, K. (April 2011). Workplaces that Support High-Performing Teaching and Learning: Insights from Generation Y Teachers. American Institutes for Research and the American Federation of Teachers. Retrieved from April2011. pdf. See also Coggins, C. & Peske, H. (2011). New Teachers Are the New Majority. Education Week, 30 (17), pp. 21-23. Retrieved from html?tkn=XMRFpzAqnYrEqoP3VoaV9Y%2FAD1QNRZ%2FSD2Q4&intc=es. 14
  16. 16. One reason for this high attrition rate is the dearth of opportunities for teachers to grow and lead Research into how to motivate and retain early career teachers indicates that they want leadership roles and dedicated time for teacher leadership. While some teachers are inherently committed to lifetime careers in teaching, for those on the fence, opportunities for leadership can make the difference. Coggshall, J., Lasagna, M., & Laine, S. (August 2009). Toward the Structural Transformation of Schools: Innovations in Staffing. Learning Point Associates. Retrieved from Coggins, C. and McGovern, K. (2014). Five Goals for Teacher Leadership. Phi Delta Kappan, 95 (7), 15-21 15
  17. 17. A great idea – “stay” interviews Skye Duckett, Chief HR Officer for Atlanta Public Schools, says about 70% of the system’s leaders conduct these optional interviews … stay interviews revealed that top teachers believed the district lacked leadership or career growth opportunities so … [they] established career pathways and an aspiring leadership program. Patton, C. “Why do employees stay?” District Administration,February 2020, p. 14 16
  18. 18. An Array of Leadership Roles • Mentor / Coach • Advisor – grade, department, school, and district • Team leader / department chair • Ambassador • Special Assignment – internal and external • Coordinator • Summer school administrators • Professional Learning Providers • Initiative / strategic goals leader • Association / union roles 17
  19. 19. Growing Self and Others as Teacher Leaders • Identifying potential leadership roles • Setting and sharing your leadership goals • Creating a leadership role where one does not exist 18
  20. 20. Our three case studies • Mentor – LILY • Shared Decision Maker - ALESE • Special Outside Assignment - FLORENCE 19
  21. 21. There are signs of progress! • Thirty states have a licensing system in place that allows teachers to advance beyond a standard professional license. In 17 of these states, teachers are required to demonstrate evidence of effectiveness, either in addition to or in place of other tasks, in order to obtain an advanced license. • Twenty-two states offer a teacher leader license or endorsement. • Seventeen states have adopted teacher leader standards; 13 states prescribe the role of the teacher leader in statute or regulation. • Twenty-four states provide formal supports and/or incentives to teacher leaders. • leadership-and-licensure-advancement/ 20
  22. 22. Our final thought … Highly effective teachers are school systems’ best tools for helping students succeed. School systems should provide leadership opportunities that allow them to expand their reach and serve the students who need them most. 21
  23. 23. Thank you for engaging with us at Symposium 2020