TEACHER RETENTION TASK FORCE ISSUES RECOMMENDATIONS
There is no singular solution to the problem of recruiting and keeping high quality teachers in North Carolina public schools, but a focus on a variety of strategies is needed to address teacher shortages, according to a report issued today by the State Board of Education's Task Force on Teacher Retention convened last fall in response to Session Law 2004-51.
State Board member Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue was instrumental in securing approval of this legislation as part of her long-standing interest in strengthening the teaching profession.
The report outlined 29 recommendations supporting work around the following issues related to teacher recruitment and retention:
- teacher working conditions;
- teacher leadership/differentiated roles;
- administrator support and accountability;
- enhancing the image of the profession/barriers to entering the profession;
- teacher preparation;
- beginning teacher induction, support and mentoring; and
- financial incentives.
Although salary issues frequently receive attention and publicity, efforts at increasing salaries alone will not resolve state and local school districts' teacher shortages, the committee members noted. The Task Force did, however, outline its recommendations for much needed adjustments to the current salary schedule designed to increase North Carolina's ability to remain competitive in recruiting and retaining highly qualified teachers.
The North Carolina Teacher Working Conditions survey has identified the need for widespread attention to working conditions such as adequate time for planning and professional development, opportunities for involvement in school-wide decisions, opportunities for assuming differentiated roles that utilize their knowledge and skills with other teachers, and the need for adequate instructional resources and supplies, including state-of-the-art technology needed for quality instructional programs. The Task Force's report also underlined the important role of the school principal in retaining teachers and in creating positive learning environments.
Dr. Jane Norwood, vice chairman of the State Board of Education, chaired the Task Force, which included teachers and representatives from public and private colleges and universities, community colleges, business and industry, local school districts and North Carolina education associations. Norwood characterized the work of the Task Force as one of the most important activities that she had been involved in during her career, and that it is imperative the state move quickly to increase the supply of new teachers and retain the existing pool of teachers.
The full report, including task force membership and recommendations, is available online at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/humanrsrcs/
About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.
For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.