2004 Adopted Resolutions
72nd Annual Meeting
Boston

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IMPROVING THE PREPARATION, RECRUITMENT, INDUCTION AND RETENTION OF TEACHERS IN URBAN SCHOOL SYSTEMS

WHEREAS, at the end of the current 2003-2004 school year over 200,000 teachers, nearly 7 percent of the 3 million non-retiring teaching workforce, will leave the profession and not return in the fall, and the rate of teacher attrition is 50 percent higher in high-poverty schools than wealthier schools; and

WHEREAS, almost half of all new teachers quit within five years which is one out of every two new teachers leaving the profession and about 14 percent of beginning teachers quit in their first year; and

WHEREAS, the United States must add approximately 240,000 teachers each year to adequately meet the needs and demands of teacher attrition and retirement, rising student enrollment, and the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act; and††

WHEREAS, the conservative cost estimates for school systems to replace teachers who drop out of the profession is more than $2.6 billion annually; and

WHEREAS, developing and retaining teachers is a national equity impact on student learning, and every student deserves an effective, high-quality professional if they are to reach the high standards we expect them to achieve; and

WHEREAS, comprehensive high-quality induction(professional development, training and assessment during at least the first two years of full-time teaching) costs roughly $4,000 per new teacher annually, it has been shown that this process provides a return on investment of about 37 percent by reducing new teacher attrition, improving the quality of teaching, and raising student achievement and only about 1 percent of new beginning receive comprehensive induction; and

WHEREAS, most teacher preparation programs in colleges and universities do not provide a significant number of learning experiences in schools and communities during a four or five-year program nor do many focus on preparing beginning teachers for urban assignments; and

WHEREAS, the majority of teacher preparation programs at colleges and universities do not integrate course work from the variety of disciplines offered by arts and sciences, education and other appropriate schools or departments to maximize the institutionís resources for this preparation process; and

WHEREAS, individuals who decide to take the alternative certification route to teaching must also have comparable experiences to be prepared for the classroom as well as being enrolled in an ongoing induction program that includes master teacher mentoring to be equipped to handle the educational needs of students; and

WHEREAS, research shows that new teachers require between 3 and 7 years to fully develop their skills to a level that consistently impacts student learning and achievement, and more rapidly develop skills and more effectively teach if they participate in a comprehensive induction program; and

†††† WHEREAS, high-quality induction programs will increase teacher retention and develops new teachers by including structured mentoring, common planning time, intensive professional development, participation in a teacher network outside of the school in which they are teaching, and a standards-based assessment and evaluation of every beginning teacher; and

†††† WHEREAS, mayors should have a role in the preparation, recruitment, induction and retention of teachers as part of the economic development and revitalization strategy for their city because education is a critical building block to the future vitality and survival of our cities; and

WHEREAS, mayors should take a leadership role in organizing the key stakeholders who must participate in a partnership that provides the resources to establish effective high-quality teacher preparation, recruitment, induction and retention programs within their cityís urban school system(s),

†††† NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED; that The U.S. Conference of Mayors urges mayors to become more active in the processes that influence the preparation, recruitment, induction and retention of teachers in their cityís schools; and

†††† BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors encourages urban school systems to use funds from Title II of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (now the No Child Left Behind Act) to provide comprehensive induction to all beginning teachers during at least their first two years of teaching; and

†††† BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors requests that Congress as part of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) amend Title II of the law to require all partnership grant recipients (postsecondary institutions and school districts) to include in comprehensive induction the quality criteria mentioned above, and over and above the current grant funding for retention and professional development of K-12 teachers; and

†††† BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors strongly recommends that policies and programs need to be put into place or enhanced at the federal, state and local levels that provide incentives for individuals to enter and remain in the teaching and education profession, especially from pre-kindergarten through high school. These might include forgiveness of student loans, housing benefits or subsidies, tax credits or deductions, community retail discounts, childcare subsidies, and local banking privileges;

†††† BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors requests the Congress to provide the new funding required to ensure that every new teacher in our nationís highest need schools receives the support and training, and has quality work conditions necessary to continue to teach in our urban schools.

Projected Cost: Roughly $2 billion is the cost for implementing a comprehensive induction program nationally which includes an approximate increase in the federal education dollars of $500 million targeted to new teacher induction for our highest need schools.The rest would be state and local funding.