About a decade ago the leaders in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School District noticed that the students in the highest poverty, mostly black, schools were taught by fewer of the district’s most effective teachers and disproportionately more of its least effective teachers. Given that these students were among the lowest performing it was troubling to see that they did not have access to great teachers that could change their trajectories. Charlotte confronted the problem head and explicitly made leading and teaching in high poverty schools among the most prestigious — though still certainly not the easiest — assignments that educators in Charlotte could be called upon to take.
The Education Trust and US Education Delivery Institute have released a guide for districts that intend to take on the problem of equity in quality teachers. The guide takes users through a seven step process for how districts can try to address staffing issues (especially distribution of quality teachers). The guide has specific examples for how to address capital management, but the process could be used for any large initiative. In fact, the process is a great starting framework for any leader (district or school) to use with a big problem.