The Education Innovator #38
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The Education Innovator
 November 17, 2003 • Number 38
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What's inside...
The New Teacher Project
What's New
Innovation in Education Exchange to focus on "Closing the Achievement Gap," December 2nd; Seattle Public School District is the first in the nation to win approval for its plan to use the flexibility provision of the No Child Left Behind Act; Deputy Under Secretary Rees debates school voucher concept and the Education Commission of the States creates a state charter school policy database.
Innovations in the News
Indianapolis announces a $1.6 million grant to develop more charter schools; plus information on school reform, magnet schools, and school choice

The New Teacher Project Develops New Hiring Reform Model
How can the hiring of highly qualified teachers be streamlined to ensure that urban and rural school districts can compete with their suburban counterparts for the strongest teachers? The New Teacher Project (TNTP) looks for answers to this human resource question.

For example, over the next three years, TNTP will build on its six-year record of finding solutions to the shortage of teachers in the nation's urban school districts. TNTP will launch a comprehensive hiring reform initiative that addresses inadequate human resource systems, as well as a web of policies, including vacancy notification, teacher transfer requirements, and budget timetables, that prevent earlier and more effective hiring. These barriers typically delay hiring in urban districts until mid- to late-summer and result in the loss of many of the best applicants to surrounding districts that hire earlier.

TNTP plans to reform the teacher hiring process and drive change in hiring process in two urban districts through a two-pronged strategy:

  • Managing the core hiring functions and working closely with human resources staff to run the day-to-day hiring operations. The goal is to create a transparent and efficient applicant process by ensuring a strong applicant and data tracking system; setting hiring goals; supporting timely school placements; recruiting strategically; establishing a plan for bringing uncertified teachers to full certification; and reforming the district's human resources department.
  • Creating a local teacher hiring alliance of key decision makers from the superintendent's office, district offices, schools and the union, community advocates, and state government representatives. The alliance will concentrate on reforms in four areas: reporting, posting, and opening vacancies in a timely manner; completing the transfer process earlier; releasing budgets to schools sooner; and enabling schools to play an earlier and more active role in hiring.
TNTP's rural initiative includes a two-year program aimed at State Education Agencies (SEAs) and school districts. This initiative will help states develop the infrastructure for a statewide recruitment, selection, and referral system. TNTP will encourage states to recruit from both non-traditional and traditional teacher certification sources. TNTP will also coordinate with SEAs to build the capacity to manage a teacher recruitment system and establish a universal online application and tracking system that will provide real-time applicant information.

Formed in 1997 as a spin-off to the Teach for America program, TNTP has two primary goals: to increase the number of outstanding individuals who become public school teachers and to create an environment for all educators to maximize their impact on student achievement.

The New Teacher Project works closely with school districts to enhance their capacity to recruit, select, train, and support outstanding new teachers. TNTP offers to create and run high-quality alternative routes to teacher certification. Also, the project offers short-term training modules for districts that want to jump-start their teacher recruitment efforts, as well as pre-service training institutes for high-achieving individuals without prior education backgrounds.

TNTP has prepared over 10,000 new, high-quality teachers and launched 39 programs in 18 states since 1997. In 2002, TNTP was responsible for delivering more than 20% of all new teachers in New York City, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Kansas City, KS, Kansas City, MO, and San Jose, CA. TNTP has also worked with rural districts in Arkansas and Louisiana, and developed systems there to overcome unique teacher recruitment obstacles.

The New Teacher Project received an Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) grant in 2003 to develop the hiring reform model. For more information about the OII administered Fund for the Improvement of Education grant program, please visit: Fund for the Improvement of Education.

For additional information, please view, Top

What's New
Innovations in Education Exchange
The next Innovations in Education Exchange on "Closing the Teacher Quality Gap" will take place December 2nd from 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at the historic Sumner School, 1201 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC. Seating is limited, so early registration is advised at (Nov. 10)

Seattle Public School District Flexibility Provision
The Seattle Public School District is the first in the nation to win approval of its plan to use an unprecedented flexibility provision of the No Child Left Behind Act, thus enabling the district to target certain federal funds to meet the unique needs of its students. For more information, go to: Seattle Public School District Flexibility Provision. (Nov. 6)

Charter Schools Database
The Education Commission of the States has created a database (drawn from information compiled by the Center for Education Reform) of state policies for charter schools in each state. For more information, go to: Charter Schools Database. (Nov. 2003)

School Vouchers Benefits Debate
Deputy Under Secretary Nina Rees debated the benefits of school vouchers on Lou Dobbs Tonight's "Face-Off" segment. Lou Dobbs Tonight's "Face-Off" segment. (Nov.5)


Innovations in the News

Charter Schools
Indianapolis has received a $1.6 million, four-year grant from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation to develop more charter schools. [More-The Indy Star] (Nov. 6)

School Reform
A $450,000 grant from Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen will pay for computers and other technology at Cleveland High School in Seattle, WA, to support the reorganization of the school into four small schools within a school. [More-The Seattle Post Intelligencer] (Nov. 6)

The Education Leaders Council has kicked off a new, nationwide program called "Following the Leaders." Teachers and students will be able to access two restricted educational websites with online tests and lessons that are based on state curricula. Lynn, MA schools will be one district participating in the program. For more information, go to: [More-Following the Leaders Program] (Oct. 12)

Magnet Schools
The Baltimore County (MD) High School magnet program includes dance, as well as many other specialized courses of study. The county's magnet programs, which were started 10 years ago to attract pupils to schools that were under capacity, now are so popular, they must turn students away. [More-The North County News] (Nov. 6)

School Choice
The current debate over private school choice in Washington, DC could make a significant difference in the course of the voucher movement across the country. [More-Milwaukee Journal Sentinel] (Nov. 1)

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Last Modified: 04/26/2011