Teacher Hiring Task Force Launched
The Delaware Teacher Hiring Task Force held its first meeting on Monday, September 13, 2010. The Task Force was established through Senate Resolution 18 in response to the report Improving Teacher Recruitment and Retention in Delaware, which was conducted by the Delaware Academy for School Leadership in coordination with the Delaware Department of Education and Rodel Foundation of Delaware. The report highlights that over 70 percent of Delaware teachers were hired after July 30th each year, and notes alarming rates of new teacher retention.
The Task Force is charged with investigating why Delaware schools are making job offers so late in the year and coming up with ways to encourage them to hire earlier. The Task Force’s duty comes at an extremely prescient moment in education reform, as districts and states enact policies and practices that provide all students access to highly-effective teachers.
At the first Task Force meeting, Dr. Jeff Raffel presented findings from the Institute for Public Administration’s annual Delaware Teacher and Administrator Supply and Demand Survey Analysis from the 2009-2010 school year. The results of this survey should provide a wealth of information to inform the Task Force’s conversations and eventual recommendations, including:
- The majority (60%) of Delaware teachers are hired in August or later.
- There has been a steady shift in hiring timelines towards the latter part of summer (August or later) over the past four years, while there have been drastic declines in the percent of new hires contracted in earlier months the past four years (May or earlier).
- The hardest positions to fill include high school math and science and foreign language classes.
- District and charter HR managers reported interest in:
- research and data on effectiveness of higher education teacher preparation programs;
- implementing leadership opportunities for current teachers; and
- making it easier to terminate ineffective teachers.
The Task Force will produce a report by December 1st for the General Assembly and Governor. We look forward to the recommendations and believe this is an opportunity to address structural problems, such as our school funding system and others, rather than simply fix the symptom of late hiring.
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