Report on Teacher Recruitment Strategy for Philadelphia

Posted on March 14, 2003

[Excerpt of weekly email from Superintendent Paul Vallas]

The Campaign for Human Capital delivered to me its final report on strategies for recruiting and retaining highly qualified teachers on Monday, February 24. I encourage you to view the full report at <a href="http://www.phila.k12.pa.us/offices/communications/reports/chc_report.pdf">http://www.phila.k12.pa.us/offices/communications/reports/chc_report.pdf</a>

You may remember that I convened The Campaign for Human Capital, a cross-section of teachers, administrators, business leaders and community activists, to develop permanent, long-term teacher recruitment and retention strategies. The Campaign is co-chaired by Sandra Dungee Glenn, a School Reform Commission member, and Rosemarie Greco, who was just appointed as Director of the Office of Health Care Reform by Governor Rendell. Five separate committees were established to focus on specific areas and strategies for achieving our recruitment and retention goals: Recruitment of Certified Teachers; New Teacher Hiring, Placement, Support, and Retention Infrastructure; Hiring and Retention Incentives; and District Cultural Transformation.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of everyone’s input into this process. Not only did more than 15 teachers and paraprofessionals serve on Campaign committees, many of the recommendations received via your returned surveys were incorporated into the final report. I also would like to thank Ted Kirsch and Jerry Jordan at PFT. They have been an important part of this process, and their input has been invaluable. I must also acknowledge the support of the principals in the administration of a teacher survey during a packed professional development day, as well as Dr. George DiPilato for his support on the Campaign. George, Ted and Jerry all serve on the Campaign’s steering committee and have been great assets throughout the process.

Many of the recommendations from the survey are in the implementation stages now. Some of these recommendations are:

o Reduced class size initiatives that will be at the center of budget development and teacher allocation for 2003-2004;
o Up to $1,000 in annual reimbursements for approved certification courses, workshops, conferences and related professional upgrading activities;
o Mandatory pre-service training for new uncertified and certified teachers (5-6 weeks for uncertified teachers and 1-2 weeks for certified teachers) -this training will provide new teachers with vital "need to know" information which will ensure that every teacher begins on stable footing;
o The development of a competency profile and a focus on the 20 area institutions which have produced the largest number of teachers with the highest retention, and on historically black urban colleges and universities with teacher education programs;
o Rolling out the red carpet for juniors and seniors from these targeted recruitment sources to introduce them to our hard-working schools, our vibrant neighborhoods, our world-class cultural institutions, our great restaurants, and our first-class sports teams; and
o Below-market mortgage rates and refinancing through partnerships with the Redevelopment Authority and selected area banks…


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