Massachusetts Local Models for Recruiting/Retaining a Diverse Educator Workforce
The Boston Teacher Residency (BTR) was co-founded in 2003 by Boston Public Schools (BPS) and the Boston Plan for Excellence (BPE). The purpose was to support BPS' efforts to address three key human capital challenges faced by the district:
A shortage of teachers in hard-to-staff areas such as math, science, special education and ESL (now ELL)
A shortage of teachers of color
A loss of half its new teachers within three years of their hire
BTR is a one year, full-time AmeriCorps program that recruits talented college graduates, career changers and community members of all ages and gives them the tools to make an immediate impact in the classrooms of the BPS.
The Greater Boston School Human Resources Network consists of a team of School Human Resource Professionals from similar communities. According to their website, members "meet regularly to share best practices, discuss current research, provide professional development, and work collaboratively to hire and retain excellent teachers." They believe that a diverse group of highly-trained and supported educators is the foundation of high-achieving and successful schools. The network hosts an annual diversity job fair annually in March. Member districts include: Acton-Boxborough; Belmont; Brookline; Concord; Concord-Carlisle; Lexington Lincoln-Sudbury; Needham; Newton; Sudbury; Wayland; Wellesley; Weston.
District Promising Practices: In partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE), the Working Group for Educator Excellence developed a list of District Promising Practices and Tools approved by the ESE. This list has been used in diverse school districts from all areas of the Commonwealth. Below you will find promising models that can be replicated and/or adapted by other districts:
Attleboro: Recruiting, Hiring and Supporting New Teachers
According to the district, teachers and staff in the district do not mirror the diversity exemplified by Attleboro's student body. Attleboro identified it as a priority to: change this lack of diversity and achieve greater racial, cultural and ethnic correlations among students, faculty and staff. To hire the most qualified candidates for positions in the district and address this priority, the district includes diversity in the candidate pool as one among several other criteria. Additionally, the district has developed a system/protocol for hiring which is used by all schools and all leaders. The goal in developing this detailed protocol was to have a cross-district process that is more streamlined and consistent than has been in place in the past.
Cambridge: Recruitment, Hiring and Site-based Placement Strategies and Protocols
Cambridge's Office of Human Resources Department is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse staff and faculty that mirrors the proportion of Asian, African American, Latino, and other ethnic and cultural groups represented in the student population in the district as much as possible. The district has set an ambitious goal of diversifying its staff to 30%. According to the district's 2013-2014 update, Cambridge has met its 30% diversity goals in administrative and support staff categories, but not yet among the teaching staff. The district shares the steps and efforts made to support strong recruiting, hiring, and placement strategies.
Sharon:Diversifying the District's Workforce
To meet the needs of what the district describes as a highly diverse community, Sharon "has placed a stronger focus on and commitment to diversifying the district's workforce in all areas." The goal is to more closely match the employees' and the students' demographics at all settings of the district's work. The district describes its approach as involving both traditional methods of recruitment along with tapping into sources that are more likely to diversify the applicants' pool such as advertising in magazines that target ethnically diverse candidates. Sharon provides a suite of tools that the district uses to advance the practices they find promising in diversifying their district's workforce.