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No Child Left Behind: A Desktop Reference
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Transitions to Teaching (II-C-1-B)


The Transition to Teaching program is a new competitive grant program that recruits and retains highly qualified mid-career professionals and recent college graduates as teachers in high-need schools. The program also supports the development and expansion of alternative routes to initial teacher certification. Transition to Teaching will help bring individuals into teaching who have strong content expertise but lack a teaching credential, and it will help school districts fill shortage areas. Participants in the program will receive special assistance, guidance, and support to encourage them to make teaching a long-term career.

WHAT'S NEW--The No Child Left Behind Act

Focuses on What Works

  • Recruits quality individuals into the classroom. Grantees may provide scholarships, stipends, and other financial incentives that are linked to participation in activities that have proven to be effective in retaining teachers in high-need schools, at a maximum of $5,000 per participant.
  • Provides induction support and other activities that have been proven to be effective in recruiting and retaining teachers, such as teacher mentoring, internships, and high-quality preservice course work and sustained in-service professional development.
  • Requires each grantee to use funds only for programs that have proven to be effective in recruiting and retaining teachers.

Improves the Academic Performance of Disadvantaged Students

  • Sets a priority for applications from high-need local education agencies (LEAs). A "high-need LEA" is defined as one: that serves 10,000 or more children from families with incomes below the poverty line or for which more than 20 percent of children are from families with incomes below the poverty line. A high-need LEA also may be one for which there is a high percentage of teachers teaching out of subject or grade level or for which there is a high percentage of teachers with emergency, provisional, or temporary certification.
  • Places teachers in fields in which they are qualified to teach and in high-need schools. Grantees may carry out placement and ongoing activities to ensure that teachers are teaching infield and are placed in high-need schools.

How It Works

This program provides competitive five-year grants to recruit and retain highly qualified individuals into the teaching profession. The projects funded through this program specifically target mid-career professionals, or recent college graduates who, if they wish to teach in a secondary school, have an academic degree in the subject they want to teach.

Eligible applicants include: (1) an SEA; (2) a high-need school district; (3) a for-profit or nonprofit group that has been effective at recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers, in partnership with an SEA or a high-need district; (4) an institution of higher education, in partnership with an SEA or high-need district; (5) a consortium of SEAs; or (6) a consortium of high-need districts.

Key Requirements

Projects that receive grants must use their program funds for at least two or more of the following activities: (1) scholarships, stipends, bonuses, and other financial incentives (for an amount limited to $5,000 per person) that are linked to participation in activities that have proven effective in retaining teachers in high-need schools; (2) placement activities; (3) pre- and post-placement induction and support services; (4) payments to cover the costs of providing financial incentives to individuals or the costs of accepting teachers recruited; (5) collaborating with institutions of higher education in developing and implementing teacher recruitment and retention programs; (6) carrying out programs that have proven to be effective in recruitment and retention; and (7) developing long-term recruitment and retention strategies. However, all projects must include activities that lead to hiring of eligible participants as teachers in high-need schools, and provide these individuals the follow-up support they need to succeed in their new careers.

How It Achieves Quality

Every project funded through the Transition to Teaching program must conduct an interim and a final evaluation of how well they have met their goals. Projects that have not made substantial progress in meeting the goals and objectives of their grant by the end of the third year of the grant period will lose funding for the fourth and fifth years of funding.

How Quality Is Measured

The quality of the Transition to Teaching program will be measured by the extent to which funded projects achieve their recruitment and retention goals as outlined in their grant applications. These goals include increasing the number of highly qualified teachers in high-need schools and high-need subjects; collaborating with other organizations to recruit, train, place, and support new teachers; developing a teacher corps or other program to recruit and retain individuals; and developing or enhancing state alternative routes to teacher certification or licensure.

Key Activities For The State Education Agencies

State education agencies are eligible to receive grants under this program, either individually or in consortia.

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Last Modified: 09/14/2007