In the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the median period that a teacher stays in a single school is less than three years. It is true that the complexity and challenge of teaching in our most vulnerable schools can be daunting. As teachers, we have firsthand experience with the policy roadblocks that prevent many of us from staying longer in our schools.
Where teachers choose to teach should be informed by student need, mission, and cultural alignment, opportunities for new professional challenges, and personal factors. Instead, it is often a rushed process, with more than 10 percent of teachers hired after the first day of school.
We came together to dream big and to share a few changes that could convince all of us—including the peers and members we surveyed—to stay and lead from our classrooms. We also collaborated in order to think practically about district realities and opportunities. The result is this toolbox for attracting, retaining, and increasing the number of very effective teachers in our district.
Establish school-based hiring protocol, including hiring committees with diverse stakeholders and candidate evaluations.
Offer school transformation packages to attract effective principals with financial incentives, specific district supports, and increased autonomy.
Improve new teacher induction with strategic and ongoing mentoring.
Strengthen student-driven professional development for teachers, using data, and school-based training.
Create community engagement grants for schools to incentivize community partnerships focused on boosting retention and driving student achievement.
Train administrators on smart retention strategies, like focusing retention efforts on the strongest teachers.
- Create achievement awards for high-needs schools to fund positions based on individual school needs
About the Teacher Action Team
We are a group of 12 educators from diverse backgrounds who met for several months to review research on teacher attraction and retention, as well as local strategies proposed or piloted by UTLA, LAUSD and local charter networks. Additionally, we held more than 20 focus groups with roughly 150 teachers, conducted over 120 peer and administrator interviews to gather critical stakeholder feedback, and surveyed over 300 teachers and school leaders.