Why is this contract needed? The Office of Talent seeks to increase the maximum number of residency seats from 75 to 100 based on increased capacity of our four partners to recruit and place teacher residents in the District. The District has enrolled 67 teacher residents for the current school year. We intend to increase the number of seats in the following year.
The Teacher Residency Program has trained teachers for high-need content areas in the District, including: middle and secondary grades math, science, English/Language Arts, and Spanish language teachers. The 2021-2022 cohort also includes 14 teacher residents training in special education, a critical need for the District. Given changes in the certification process for special education teachers initiated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, offering this content area moving forward will provide a pipeline to teaching for current District employees who support special education students.
This work seeks to increase the pool of teachers who join the District in support of Goals 1, 3 and 4, as well as Guardrail 4. Specifically, the Teacher Residency Program seeks to increase our pipeline of strong middle and secondary school math, science and English content teachers. Additionally, as one explicit commitment for the residency program is a diverse teaching workforce, this work supports a goal of having a teacher workforce more representative of our student population.
Success for this contract will be measured based on the number of enrolling teacher residents who hold certification in a high-need content area, who transition to the classroom as teacher of record, and who are retained in schools for the three year commitment.
The District's Teacher Residency program has provided a pipeline of approximately 260 aspiring educators, starting in SY2018 with 20 teacher residents, and expanding to four residency partners in SY2019. Success for the teacher residency program is defined by enrollment and persistence of teacher residents in high need content areas, and in non-select-admit schools across the District. Presently, 216 current and former teacher residents are in place. Of this, 149 former teacher residents are now teachers of record across 76 schools in the District. Residents were either retained in their host schools or site selected for science, mathematics, English language arts, or Spanish Language positions in schools across the city. The current cohort of 67 residents are training in middle and secondary classrooms across 34 schools. They are prepared to enter classrooms across the District beginning in Fall 2022.
Additionally, the recruitment of racially diverse teacher residents remains a priority, ensuring that we are growing the workforce of teachers who reflect the students served in District schools. Over the course of our partnership, 44% of Relay residents have identified as people of color, 40% of Drexel residents identify as people of color, and 33% of Temple residents identify as people of color. Our current partners also recruit teacher residents who range in age, career background and experience in District schools.
Residents continue to demonstrate content proficiency by passing the appropriate Praxis content exam - a critical step on the path to certification. To date, 88% of teacher residents maintain an Intern or Instructional I certification in a high-need content area. Additionally, the District closely monitors resident transition to teacher positions and retention overall. To date, 92% of teacher residents transition into a teacher position. Overall, for the period 2019-2021, resident retention for Drexel, Relay and Temple was 86%. By partner, the rates break out to 82%, 88% and 88% for Drexel, Relay and Temple, respectively.
The Teacher Residency model is named as one of several strategies to grow and diversify the teacher pipeline. The structure of the teacher residency program is aligned to best practice strategies as outlined by the National Center on Teacher Residencies, with the foundation being a strong District/Higher Education partnership. As an approach, it has been consistently named among the set of recruitment strategies that districts can use to increase their teacher pipelines, particularly for diverse candidates and those with backgrounds in high-need content areas. (See for example: Guha, R., Hyler, M.E., and Darling-Hammond, L. (2016). The Teacher Residency: An Innovative Model for Preparing Teachers. Palo Alto, CA: Learning Policy Institute.)
The partners noted above each applied through a competitive procurement process launched in Fall 2020. Applications were reviewed by central office and school-based leaders. Each of our selected partners has demonstrated expertise in training teachers for large urban school districts.