The Arizona Chamber Foundation, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and A for Arizona have released a case study proposing a new way to address the state's teacher shortage.
The case study, “Teacher Talent Pipelines: Streamlining the Path from Student to Educator in Arizona,” proposes that lessons learned in supply chain management can develop a sustainable number of qualified teachers for the schools needing them the most.
“Ensuring that Arizona classrooms are led by talented, well-qualified teachers is a major component of Arizona’s K-12 and overall economic development strategy,” Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry President and CEO Glenn Hamer said. “That’s why it is so important that we better understand how to retain our best and brightest teachers and attract new ones into the profession, including adopting lessons from other industries.”
The case study recommends that schools should group together to define collective demand for talent while defining the skills needed from candidates. The study also says schools should analyze current ways of sourcing teacher talent and to build relationships with and grant incentives to top talent providers.
Some of Arizona’s highest-achieving schools in impoverished areas will form employer collaboratives, beginning in the Phoenix urban core, to work with one another and talent providers to improve the pipeline of available teachers.
“We expect this employer collaborative, driven by Arizona’s proven principals and teachers, to change the game by reducing the exodus of frustrated new teachers and improving outcomes for more kids,” A for Arizona Executive Director Lisa Keegan said.
Leaders from these schools have an agreement with the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University — one of America’s largest teacher preparation programs — to prepare teachers to better support students that live in poverty.
“We are excited to be the first to work with the employer collaborative on this promising approach to fulfilling Arizona’s need for well-prepared educators who stay in the profession and serve high-need communities,” Carole Basile, dean of ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, said. “This is the kind of creative, ambitious initiative that’s right in our wheelhouse. Our approach is based on co-creating next practices in teacher preparation with hundreds of K-12 schools.”