For students to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for success in the 21st century, schools need a diverse, stable core of well-prepared educators. Key components of a high-quality educator workforce include the following:
- Preparation and professional learning: Teachers need deep content knowledge and understanding of their students’ learning and development. They must also develop engaging, culturally responsive curriculum rooted in inquiry and problem-solving. School leaders, who play a key role in retaining teachers and creating positive school climates, must be prepared to support and sustain equity-focused schools that support teacher learning. Because underprepared teachers leave the profession in their first year at two to three times the rate of those who are fully prepared, teacher preparation can be a key strategy in stemming teacher turnover.
- Recruitment and retention: Attracting a high-quality and diverse educator workforce requires affordable pathways into the profession, innovative and evidence-based recruitment efforts, and policies that make teaching and leadership careers attractive and financially sustainable. Teacher turnover can impact student achievement and is highest in schools serving the largest populations of students of color.
- Educator diversity: Teachers of color help close achievement gaps for students of color and are highly rated by students of all races. Increasing teacher diversity is important for fostering effective and equitable learning opportunities and outcomes.