Earlier this month, the Louisiana Department of Education selected school system leaders from across the state to assist in an effort to create a program foe teacher recruitment and retention for the educators in Louisiana’s most vital certification areas, as reported by an LABelieves’ press release.
The State’s Department of Education selected “human capital leaders” from sixteen Louisiana school systems to participate in the fellowship, which will be operating through the national organization, Urban Schools Human Capital Academy. This organization is a non-profit aimed at supporting and bringing together leaders in schools and districts to drive a measurable improvement in teacher and principal quality. The USHCA operates in sixteen states, and has experience in providing new and existing school and district leaders to grow their management skills and become leaders, or human capital leaders.
This particular fellowship will consist of two national workshops and monthly state sessions for this particular Louisiana cohort, which will begin in late October, concluding in Spring 2021. The Louisiana Department of Educationhopes that this effort will bring highly-effective educators and leaders from across the state in order to ensure that every student learns from a high-quality teacher without interruption in personnel.
In the release, State Superintendent of Education, Dr. Cade Brumley stated, “An effective teacher has the power to transform the lives of countless children, which is why we must do everything we can to attract and keep the very best in Louisiana. This fellowship will expose system leadership to what’s working for districts around the nation, while also sparking collaboration that will lead to innovations in our state.”
The sixteen Louisiana school Systems participating in the fellowship program are:
City of Baker School System
Pointe Coupee Parish
St. Charles Parish
St. Landry Parish
St. Tammany Parish
West Baton Rouge Parish
In addition to the monthly Louisiana cohort meetings, the two national workshop portions of the fellowship give state educators the opportunity to collaborate not only with other educators, wherein great strategies, ideas, and materials are shared, but they will also be networking with other human capital professionals from across the U.S, learning the best, tested practices for attracting and keeping effective teachers. While this year the national workshops will be delivered virtually, the national arm of the fellowship plans to focus on how exactly school systems can adjust their recruitment and retention strategic plans during the pandemic.
At their planned monthly meetings, the Louisiana cohort will map out what Louisiana-specific challenges in relation to teacher recruitment and retention are unique to the state, allowing leaders to explore innovative solutions and how best to implement them. Already, the Louisiana human capital leaders have requested the following strategies they would be eager to explore:
- Building teacher communities across parish lines in order to support educator development and retention.
- Implementing a structure to share teachers across parish lines, especially in the vital subject areas, such as Advanced Math and Science.
- Introducing a common interview process for teachers across parish lines.
In Dr. Brumley’s 100 Day Report, the need for an enhanced teacher recruitment and retention program in Louisiana was outlined, and it’s much-needed due to the fact that over have of the Louisiana teachers leaving the profession do so within their first ten years in the classroom. Subjects outlined as having the largest-need areas for teachers are math and science, yet only 8 percent of all program completers earned their teaching certification in math and only 7 percent earned it in science. Needless to say, this fellowship is a refreshing take on a vital challenge facing Louisiana school systems.
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