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Project: Recruiting and Maintaining Effective Educators



Through this project, our R5CC team supports the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) in refining aspects of their Tennessee Educator Acceleration Model (TEAM) that is used for annual teacher evaluation. Additional related focus also includes recruitment and retention of educators, including the high variability in teacher vacancy rates across the state of Tennessee and challenges with recruiting and retaining educators of color.

High-Leverage Problem

TDOE's Office of Human Capital supports districts with work across the educator professional continuum. As noted in Tennessee’s American Rescue Plan (ARP), the state reaffirmed its commitment to growing the educator pipeline by making at least $2M in awards available to education preparation providers (EPPs) and local education agency (LEA) partners for Grow Your Own and providing funds for additional endorsements for educators in high-need areas of special education, English as a second language, and secondary mathematics. In January 2022, TDOE requested vacancy data from districts, as required by Board Strategic Compensation Policy 5.600 Sect II part 2(b)3; 50 districts reported zero vacancies and 20 reported >10 vacancies. TDOE requested support with better understanding the wide variability in teacher vacancy rates and to what extent teachers of color are retained in schools that have high proportions of students of color.

Approach to Capacity-Building Services

To help TDOE better understand the wide variability in teacher vacancy rates across the state, we will implement a plan to collect and analyze qualitative data to summarize the differences in high and low vacancy matched districts across the state. Our R5CC team will use results of the analysis to develop district promising practice profiles for dissemination.

To help TDOE support districts with goal setting related to retaining teachers of color, we will review state data on student and educator demographics, create profiles of districts that have been successful in recruiting and retaining a diverse staff of educators, and develop a resource for districts to use to develop SMART educator diversity goals (and other resources as appropriate).