Several years ago, we asked ourselves the question: “What can districts and teacher preparation programs, when partnering closely together, do to ensure that teachers are ready to support all students to succeed?” Together, with the Joyce Foundation, we embarked on a journey to learn from successful partnerships nationwide, and built a roadmap with 10 recommendations to define how they prepare for, launch and sustain partnerships in service of teachers and students.
Since the report’s release, we have seen partnerships flourish nationwide. District and teacher preparation programs are collaborating to set a common vision for teacher excellence, support mentor and student teachers, and ensure every student is taught by a skilled teacher. States have also begun to require and incentivize partnership work, and funders are investing in partnership models. And as these partnerships have progressed, partners have shared that they want to learn from one another in new ways.
Thus, in January 2018, we began the process of creating a Toolkit—which would be complementary to the original report—to enable partners to engage even more deeply around this work. We conducted interviews with over forty district and teacher preparation leaders, teachers, principals, policymakers and advocates to understand the state of district-teacher preparation partnership in the field. Through these conversations, we identified steps partners could take to implement the recommendations and, through the generosity of our interviewees, collected over 50 tools from the field.
Since creating the Toolkit, we have engaged in additional conversations focused on how partnerships can work together to prepare more candidates of color for K-12 classrooms. We therefore updated our toolkit in 2022 to include examples of these district teacher preparation program partnerships that have successfully created a thriving workforce of diverse teachers.
We are excited to share this updated toolkit: Partnering on Prep: A Toolkit for Building Strong District-Teacher Preparation Partnerships that Support a Diverse Workforce.
See below for a sneak peek of a case study you’ll find in the report:
- Tapping into New Candidate Pools for Aspiring Teachers of Color Through Apprenticeship Models and Paraprofessional Pathways into Teaching: Denver Public Schools developed a paraprofessional pathway, in partnership with three local teacher preparation programs, that offers different options based on the individualized need of a given paraprofessional. The paraprofessional pathway into teaching is emerging as a high-leverage method of diversifying the teaching workforce by tapping a pool of experienced adult educators who have a strong interest in obtaining a teaching license and teaching in their current school district but may have faced barriers in the past.
Click here to access the toolkit and set of tools. We are thrilled to share this resource with you, and hope that it supports your endeavors to build stronger partnerships for the benefit of teachers and students nationwide.