Rep. Susan Davis, Rep. Bobby Scott and 10 Committee Members Introduce Bill to Strengthen Teacher Recruitment and Retention

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Washington, DC, October 4, 2016 | comments

Last week, Rep. Susan Davis (CA-53) introduced H.R. 6236, the Innovations to Recruit and Retain Excellent Teachers Act, legislation that will empower school districts to develop targeted recruitment and retention strategies ensuring that all students, regardless of their socioeconomic status, are taught by an excellent, well-supported, and diverse teacher workforce. The bill is co-sponsored by Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) and 10 other members of the Committee on Education and the Workforce.

“Excellent teachers are at the core of a high-quality school, and this legislation provides teachers with various tools and opportunities to equip them to lead their schools and their classrooms,” said Representative Davis, a senior member of the Committee. “Our high teacher turnover rates, especially in low-income schools, are driven by teachers’ unaddressed calls for targeted support and more autonomy. This legislation is a direct response to that call by encouraging comprehensive mentoring and induction programs, teacher leadership pathways, and higher compensation.”

“Elevating the teaching profession to the status it deserves, by providing teachers with a rewarding, sustainable, and successful experience in the classroom, will help ensure that more high-quality teachers remain in the classroom and all students are well-educated,” said Ranking Member Scott. “This legislation is an important step in fulfilling the promise of the Every Student Succeeds Act to provide all students, including low-income students, with a high-quality education supported by an excellent and diverse teacher workforce.”

A 2016 Learning Policy Institute report estimates that America’s schools will face an annual shortage of 100,000 teachers by 2025. Compounding this problem is the systemic under-recruitment and retention of teacher candidates from diverse backgrounds, resulting in a current teacher workforce that does not mirror the diversity of the nation’s students. A 2016 Brookings Institution report found that 50 percent of K-12 students are from minority groups, as compared to only 18 percent of classroom teachers.

The Innovations to Recruit and Retain Excellent Teachers Act will empower school districts to recruit, retain, and develop the excellent and diverse teacher workforce our nation’s students deserve by encouraging strategies such as:

  • Partnering with teacher preparation programs to recruit diverse candidates to address teacher shortages in certain subjects;
  • Creating high-quality comprehensive induction programs for novice teachers that include individualized coaching, reduced course load, or co-teaching along master teachers;
  • Improving compensation structures to better reflect teachers’ roles and responsibilities; and
  • Encouraging teacher autonomy and collaboration through teacher-led initiatives such as communities of practice, leadership pathways, and personalized professional growth opportunities.

FACT SHEET: Innovations to Recruit and Retain Excellent Teachers Act

List of organizations supporting the Innovations to Recruit and Retain Excellent Teachers Act:

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

American Federation of Teachers

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)

Battelle for Kids

Center for American Progress

Democrats for Education Reform

Ed Reform Now

Educators 4 Excellence

Educators Rising

Golden Apple Foundation

Hope Street Group

Learning Forward

National Academy of Advanced Teacher Education

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

New Leaders

National Network of State Teachers of the Year

New Teacher Center

New York Educator Voice Fellows

PDK International

Profound Gentlemen

Public Education & Business Coalition

Public Impact

Southern Education Foundation

Teach For America

Teach Plus

Teaching Matters

TESOL International Association

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Tags: Education

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