Improving the accessibility and viability of professional teacher pathways is key to addressing teacher shortages and decreasing teacher attrition.
Research shows that teacher shortages acutely impact historically underserved students and communities. Research also shows that clinically rich pathways such as teacher residencies produce teachers who are effective in their profession and remain in their role for a longer period of time. Clinically rich pathways, however, can be financially unattainable for teacher candidates.
WestEd is addressing pathway affordability through evaluation, policy, and technical assistance that aims to guide state strategies for affordable and sustainable teacher preparation. These efforts include conducting formative evaluations of large-scale, state-level teacher residency initiatives, supporting states with access and affordability related to quality preparation, and serving as an industry intermediary for teacher apprenticeship programs.
Our Work in Action
As educators and policymakers recognize a pressing, and evolving, systemic need to improve programs and resources for teacher and educator preparation, culminating findings from the New Generation of Educators Initiative (NGEI) present a timely and promising practices for addressing teacher shortages, promoting equity and excellence, ensuring teachers stay and thrive in the profession, and cultivating expertise, diversity, and more.
Throughout NGEI’s implementation, WestEd and SRI International conducted an evaluation to help support continuous improvement and to provide a summative assessment of progress. Summary reports deliver a comprehensive, balanced, and nuanced understanding of the critical components to effective teacher preparation.
Describes levers through which campuses and school districts participating in NGEI designed, built, and strengthened their relationships to develop partnerships and progress toward goals.
Looks at how programs can expand their capacity to use data for continuous improvement by using a methodology and mechanisms for achieving results.
Identifies levers to put high-quality clinical experience—that is, the opportunity to practice the work of teaching in classrooms—at the center of teacher preparation.
Presents practices related to balancing grant requirements with flexibility and responsive support, customizing technical assistance support to meet partnership needs, and embedding opportunities for cross-network learning and collaboration.
Funded by US Department of Labor
WestEd, in collaboration with RTI, the New America Foundation, and TeachMEducation, is supporting the US Department of Labor as an industry intermediary to launch, promote, and expand Registered Teacher Apprenticeship Programs (RTAPs) in states and districts across the country through technical assistance, research, and resource development.
If successful, RTAPs will join residencies as a ‘gold standard’ for teacher preparation while also providing a living wage to prospective teachers.
WestEd is conducting an external formative evaluation of the Teacher Residency Grant Program administered by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Evaluation findings are intended to help:
- practitioners know whether the changes they are making are likely to move their residency programs closer to having desired characteristics;
- policymakers and funders know the extent to which programs are implementing effective practices that are the precursors to improved outcomes;
- and technical assistance providers to understand grantee support needs.
The evaluation activities are intended to provide feedback quickly and to enable interest holders to adjust their work as this initiative evolves. WestEd is keeping all grantees informed through a series of briefs summarizing learnings from the evaluation. Read the briefs here and view the dashboard below.
View this tool to understand the preparation and retention of diverse teachers in shortage fields funded through the Teacher Residency Grant Program, by showing patterns of enrollment, program completion, and hiring.