Encourage States to establish Grants for teachers to pay for subject-specific instructional support, mentoring teacher access and, if necessary university tuition, through the Teaching and Learning Foundation Program
Florida first to establish grant
The state of Florida was the first to establish a grant to pay for the tuition of the Expert Systems for Teachers® university hosted online courses to better prepare in-service teachers for new and unavoidable out-of-field assignments. 774 in-service K12 teacher enrollments were funded by $1,200,000 in grants over two years. The success of the program was confirmed by improvements in content mastery as the average in-service K12 teacher pre-test score of 60% was followed by an average 90% post-test score. If a state grant is fully subscribed or unavailable, teacher tuition may be paid for with a district's allocation of Title 1, 2a and 5, state professional development budget or other funding sources. The pre- and post-test data reports are linked here: empirical evidence in cohort 1 and cohort 2 plus anecdotal evidence in enrollee comments.
SUGGESTION FOR STATES AND FOUNDATIONS
STATES AND FOUNDATIONS MAY ESTABLISH DEDICATED GRANTS IN THEIR STATE OR GEOGRAPHIC AREA OF INTEREST entitled the Highly-Effective Teacher Grant, to be endowed through and managed by the Teaching and Learning Foundation and participating universities. Grant funds will pay for the tuition and fees for K12 teachers with new or out-of-field assignments for an initial series of 100 online subject-specific professional development courses entitled the Expert Systems for Teachers®.
The courses and materials will be offered through participating universities. All courses include the following elements: course syllabus, pacing guide, detailed daily lesson plans, class notes (editable PowerPoint’s), student activity book or lab manual, editable assessments and keys and access to a subject-specific e-mentor. A subject-area content mastery test and subject specific test will be administered at the conclusion of each course.
TEACHERS WHO PASS THEIR COURSE POST-TEST WILL RECEIVE half the professional (or continuing) education hours toward recertification (license renewal) and be set on a path to be highly-effective. Those who register for and pass the state approved broad subject-area exam will be deemed highly-qualified.
MEETING SCHOOL AND DISTRICT GOALS
School and district goals include meeting Federal and State regulations and mandates, better preparing teachers for new assignments leading to student improvement, addressing teacher recruitment, development and retention issues and reducing related costs. The Teaching and Learning Foundation combined subscription program addresses all these issues:
ESSA REQUIREMENT: The provision of ``just-in-time`` subject-specific,
sustained professional development and support necessary to achieve
content mastery in new core and elective classroom assignments helps
schools and districts meet the Federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
mandate that all students be taught by a highly qualified teacher.
EDUCATOR EQUITY PLAN: Satisfaction of the U.S, Department of
Education mandated Educator Equity Plan requires states and districts to
address the problem of the unequal distribution of highly qualified and
highly effective teachers.
TEACHER PREPARATION IMPACT: Teacher quality has the greatest impact on student success, and thus aids in the satisfaction of 2016 U.S. Department of Education regulations that grade teacher preparation programs on the performance of their students.
HIGHLY-EFFECTIVE TEACHERS: Address the unequal distribution of
highly-effective teachers by providing teachers with sustained
instructional and mentoring support, leading to improved student
achievement, higher graduation rates, and greater college and workforce
REDUCE COSTS: related to the recruitment (teacher shortage), development and retention of teachers by providing this subject-specific assistance
A PRACTICAL, ECONOMICAL PROGRAM
The Teaching and Learning Foundation believes that foundations and states will agree in the goal of providing every student with 1) a not only highly-qualified teacher (technically qualified in a broad subject-area), but 2) a highly-effective teacher (demonstrated content mastery in each specific subject assigned within a broad subject-area). To achieve that goal, we hope all will agree that a practical,economical way of achieving this goal will be to provide all teachers with new or out-of-field assignments, core or elective, with subject-specific instructional support and mentoring teacher access, plus university course enrollment where necessary, immediately upon any new assignment. The suggested support material can be used with, or adapted to, any administratively assigned/required curriculum, standards or or textbook. In this way the state (and the school districts) will ensure that students will have a highly-effective teacher in every classroom.
PROVING JUST-IN-TIME SUPPORT FOR ANY TEACHER
An annual subscription to the entire catalog of over 100 support materials may be obtained for only $24 per student per school, district or state per year. University course enrollments are also available for any teacher that needs additional support in the way of subject-area test fees and guides and/or hours toward license renewal. These choices provide “just-in-time” support for all teachers with new assignments.
REDUCING TEACHER TURNOVER (RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION) EXPENSE
Beyond achieving the goal that 100% of teachers are highly-qualified, an additional benefit of a grant will be lower teacher recruitment and retention expenses. This is based on the understanding that teachers will more likely stay in the classroom if supplied instructional, mentoring and certification support when given new or unavoidable out-of-field assignments. Given that 100% of teachers have a new assignment as either a teacher just graduated from a school of education or as a second career teacher and given that up to 50% of teachers leave the profession within 3-5 years, extending the average in-service time by just one year or more will save a school, district or state approximately $20,000 per teacher (national average based on research reports) in reduced annual recruitment costs if they stay in the classroom beyond the average 3-5 years. You can calculate your school, district or state potential savings by this formula: Retaining 1 of 4 secondary teachers for one more year beyond the average 3-5 years (using the average of 4 years in the classroom before leaving, _______ teachers out of approximately ______ secondary teachers in the state) for just one more year will save the state annually (number of teachers x $20,000).