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Increasing Recruitment and Retention

The teacher shortage crisis in our nation's K–12 schools is a pressing issue that has garnered increasing attention but remains shrouded in complexity. This shortage has not only been acknowledged by the media and policymakers but also quantified by researchers, with estimates pointing to a deficit of approximately 110,000 teachers during the 2017–2018 school year—a stark contrast to the absence of shortages prior to 2013 (Sutcher, Darling-Hammond, and Carver-Thomas, 2016).

Understanding this crisis proves to be a formidable challenge due to its intricate and interconnected root causes. The shortage emerges from a fundamental insufficiency of qualified educators to fill vacant positions within schools. These vacancies arise for a multitude of reasons, including a diminishing appeal of teaching as a profession, surges in school enrollments, reductions in class sizes, and an alarming number of teachers leaving their posts. The ramifications of this teacher shortage are profound, affecting students, educators, and the education system as a whole. It's a crisis that demands immediate, comprehensive, and sustainable policy solutions.

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Principals, as educational leaders, wield substantial influence in the critical realms of teacher recruitment, development, and retention. Research has conclusively demonstrated that schools consistently hiring effective teachers experience markedly higher academic achievement growth (Beteille et al., 2012). Furthermore, effective principals exhibit lower rates of teacher turnover (Grissom, 2018). Surprisingly, principal support has been identified as a decisive factor in teachers' decisions to remain at their schools, often surpassing the importance of salary considerations (Learning Policy Institute, 2017). To top it off, effective principals are more likely to retain high-performing teachers (Grissom & Bartanen, 2018).

The Impact on Student Success

It's crucial to recognize that the success of school principals in recruiting and retaining exceptional teachers directly correlates with student success. As we delve into addressing the teacher shortage crisis, we must acknowledge the pivotal role principals play in shaping the educational landscape, ultimately influencing the futures of countless students.

IMPACT builds on MLDS, an established vehicle, for delivering learning that strengthens principals’ leadership practices.

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MLDS is having a substantial impact on the quality of school leadership across the state in a relatively short period of time. More than 95% of principals participating in MLDS agree that the program is making them better school leaders and improving their instructional leadership (Liang & Slotnik, 2021).

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In fact, MLDS is considered so critical that eligibility for receiving Title I funding requires leaders of all schools identified under the state’s accountability system for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) to participate in MLDS. This requirement particularly ensures school leaders will apply learnings from IMPACT at the schools in greatest need and in support of the state’s underserved students.

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Sustainability is a cornerstone of the system. Research indicates that principals benefit from preparation that is authentically aligned to their job-specific responsibilities (Wieczorek & Manard, 2018). The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has now codified the leadership competencies in regulations covering requirements for principal training and expectations for principal performance (5 CSR 20- 400.610-630). Thus, from the moment they embark on a school leadership pathway, Aspiring principals engage in MLDS professional learning experiences that are embedded in the coursework, internship, and performance assessment requirements of all 23 institutions of higher education (IHEs) in Missouri offering master’s degrees in administration. These institutions have taken the unprecedented step of working together to rethink their curricula, revise their internship experiences, and assess their principal candidates’ readiness through the state’s performance assessment. This is a rare collaborative effort that continues to evolve along with MLDS (Guerra et al., 2017).

IMPACT is rooted in these extensive, enduring partnerships among state and local policymakers; K-12 school district officials; and IHE administrators. It draws on a unique alignment between preparation, certification, schools in need, and continuing education for school leaders across Missouri.

Complete the form below and an MLDS representative from your region will follow up with you to complete enrollment in the MLDS program or provide you the value of MLDS. There is no cost to you or your district.
You may also leave a message at 617-423-1444 (CTAC) or 573-751-7986 (DESE) and one of our team members will contact you soon.