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Giving Compass' Take:
• Adeshina Emmanuel shares Chicago's strategy for addressing teacher turnover to better serve their students.
• How can funders support and initiate efforts like this one? Could this strategy work in cities near you?
• Learn more about the harmful effects of teacher turnover.
Michele Clark Academic Prep Magnet High School Principal Charles Anderson completed a task that can vex even the steeliest of urban school administrators: He filled his final staff vacancy for fall.
That’s an accomplishment in a district that, also last week, reported more than 1,000 teaching vacancies across its more than 600 schools. At a press conference where Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot laid out her planned investments for schools across the next few years, Anderson spoke in support of expanding a program that helps recruit and retain teachers at schools hit hardest by turnover.
“It has helped me assemble a dynamic team of high-quality educators who are ready to invest in the success of our students,” said Anderson, whose school enrolled 570 students last year and employed more than 30 teachers. “This is one of the first times I can say this: By July 25, I was fully staffed.”
Chicago Public Schools said it is expanding its “Opportunity Schools” program to 10 more high schools, including Clark, that have high percentages of students living in poverty. Research shows schools with higher populations of poor students and students of color tend to have a harder time hiring and holding on to teachers, and often have higher concentrations of inexperienced teachers compared with majority-white schools. The district said hiring is already underway for the new crop of schools in the program.
“We are prioritizing the highest-need schools in order to make sure the professionals who work in these schools every single day have the resources — and the human-resource support outside of that — to do their best work on behalf of children,” schools chief Janice Jackson said.
Read the full article about Chicago's Strategy for addressing teacher turnover by Adeshina Emmanuel at Chalkbeat.