Last week during Arne Duncan’s Twitter Town Hall there was one phrase that keeps sticking in my mind. John Merrow asked him what his message is for teachers who feel under attack.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s response included this:
“We have to do everything we can to support teachers. I worry about losing too much of our great young talent.”
It is hard to disagree with this. I spent the last four years leading a program in Oakland designed to do just that. We created TeamScience to give novice science teachers a professional community to belong to, offering them experienced colleagues as mentors as well as workshops, curriculum and professional development. We did this because we have a huge turnover issue among our science teachers. Most of the vacancies are filled with interns from Teach For America and other programs, and three years after they start, 75% of these teachers have left the District.