As districts face the recurring problem of ensuring every student has access to a high-quality teacher, a growing number have begun to proactively form deep, mutually beneficial partnerships with teacher preparation programs to produce teacher candidates who match their specific needs. These partnerships, when done well, take significant time and resources on behalf of both parties, but have the ability to transform the work of both institutions.
Listed below are 10 recommendations from the executive summary brief of a recent report from Education First, titled Ensuring High Quality Teacher Talent. The report outlines recommendations to help districts and teacher preparation programs initiate, implement and sustain these types of partnerships.
These stages provide an overview, but the report itself holds specific examples and advice from a number of national teacher preparation experts and features seven leading partnerships.
One such example, from the initiation stage, is provided below:
Districts need quality teachers who are trained (or ready to be trained) to serve their particular student demographic and who can quickly understand and implement the district curriculum. Districts must share those needs with preparation programs. Leading partnerships exemplified just that. After noticing challenges across district classrooms and experiencing difficulties filling teacher vacancies, particularly in hard-to-staff areas, Fresno Unified School District initiated a partnership with California State University Fresno. Together, they looked at data and patterns within their city, particularly around poverty, student demographics and teacher retention. The two organizations decided to focus on bringing in strong math, science and special education teachers to teach grades 4-8, forming the Fresno Teacher Residency program.
The report also includes key funding considerations and recommendations for policymakers looking to encourage these types of partnerships.
For more detailed information and examples, read the full report here: