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ERIC Number: ED543216
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jun
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Building and Sustaining Talent: Creating Conditions in High-Poverty Schools That Support Effective Teaching and Learning
Almy, Sarah; Tooley, Melissa
Education Trust
Improving teaching effectiveness is a hot topic for policymakers around the country these days. The gathering movement marks an important step forward in the ongoing effort to strengthen our nation's schools. In many cases, however, these efforts start and stop with improving outdated, inadequate teacher evaluation systems. Such approaches fail to address a key problem: that our most vulnerable students are consistently and disproportionately saddled with the weakest teachers and seldom have access to the strong instruction they need and deserve. To correct this systemic flaw, districts and states must address policy and culture issues that lead to higher rates of teacher dissatisfaction and turnover in schools serving large populations of low-income students and students of color. Teachers do not work in a vacuum. Like most other professionals, their feelings about their jobs and their decisions about where to teach are significantly impacted by their work environments. Despite widespread assumptions that students are the primary cause of teacher dissatisfaction and attrition, research shows that the work environment in schools--particularly the quality of school leadership and staff cohesion--actually matters more, especially among teachers working in high-poverty schools. Around the country, too many states and districts are giving short shrift to the teaching and learning environments in schools serving students with the greatest need. But a few places are taking this work seriously. In this report, the Education Trust highlights five districts that recognize the importance of teaching and learning conditions: Ascension Parish Public Schools in Louisiana, Boston Public Schools in Massachusetts, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina, and Fresno Unified and Sacramento City Unified in California. These districts view building and sustaining strong teaching and learning conditions as a key strategy for attracting, developing and retaining strong teachers in high-need schools. While each district's approach is different, some consistent themes emerge: a focus on strong leadership, a campus-wide commitment to improving instruction by analyzing student data and reflecting on practice, and a collaborative environment that values and rewards individual contribution. (Contains 17 notes.)
Education Trust. 1250 H Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-293-1217; Fax: 202-293-2605; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Joyce Foundation
Authoring Institution: Education Trust
Identifiers - Location: California; Louisiana; Massachusetts; North Carolina