Missed Opportunities, 10 Years Laterby Victoria Van Cleef
Looking at progress a decade after our first report.
November 07, 2003
Highly qualified candidates are applying to teach in urban school districts. Why are too few getting hired?
It's been 10 years since TNTP published its first-ever research and policy report, Missed Opportunities. At that time, teacher shortages in urban districts were assumed to be caused by a dearth of qualified applicants. But as we worked in district offices, we discovered that was not true.
The problem was that district staffing systems were impossibly dysfunctional: Applicants were treated poorly, hiring took months and offers sometimes arrived the same week school began.
Missed Opportunities put data behind that problem by investigating teacher-hiring patterns in four districts.
Many districts adopted our recommended reforms for hiring the best qualified candidates long before the school year begins. Ten years later, in districts like Memphis and Washington, D.C., schools now start the year with strong teams in place, and student achievement is improving.