MCS officials plan changes to teacher recruiting tactics - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MCS officials plan changes to teacher recruiting tactics

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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Administrators at Memphis City Schools spoke Tuesday about how they plan to spend a $90 million grant awarded to the system by the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation.

Memphis City Schools Chief of Staff Dr. Alfred Hall said administrators will begin by drastically changing the school system's recruiting tactics.

"We're going to work with an external partner in the New Teacher Project," Hall said Tuesday.

The school system plans to hire teachers faster.

"Allow them to receive a contract much earlier in the hiring process to allow us to become more competitive with other school districts," Hall said.

And Hall would like to keep teachers longer.
    
"Many of the data indicate teachers in the first couple of years are most at risk of leaving the profession, and we really want to reach our arms around them," he said.

Hall also wants quicker access to teacher data.  Right now, district officials must wait three years before they can even analyze a teacher's effectiveness to award tenure.

"Use the teacher effect data after the teacher's first year, so that we can identify if that teacher is having difficulty in moving student achievement," Hall said.

He added that the district can use that intel to steer teachers.

"We can design the appropriate professional development, appropriate mentoring, and support, and even evaluations can reflect that as we get to really be able to make an educated and informed decision on tenure as we get to that third-year window," Hall said.

And then there are the master teachers, with six-figure salary incentives.

"That will come with an expectation that they will be willing to go to our most challenging schools where we need effective teachers the most," Hall said.

District officials say this has never been done before, and those who take part in this grant could change education as we know it in the United States.

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