Teach Plus Massachusetts Teaching Policy Fellows – April 2016
A Teach Plus Teaching Policy paper encourages educators to advocate for several teacher-led professional development (PD) and retention policies that will adhere to ESSA’s Title II guidelines. Teach Plus emphasizes long-term PD that unites communities.
Teach Plus recommends that PD be site- and district-specific, prioritizing the leadership of teachers within the school or district. They further recommend the use of staff surveys to determine PD priorities based on issues like student population and school resources. Those leading PD should be given time to prepare and should be financially compensated for their contributions. Finally, Teach Plus offers a series of questions that can help determine whether the PD meets the federal definition of high-quality development.
In order to retain individual teachers long-term, Teach Plus recommends that states and districts develop a career ladder with concrete rungs, spelling out each step a teacher needs to take to further his or her career. This ladder should allow teachers to develop spontaneous, hybrid roles to address critical needs specific to their schools and communities that can fit into their career track. Lastly, they recommend that states develop a concrete and transparent leadership recruitment process that includes teachers and administrators.