The following is a list of recent resources for those focused on the professional improvement of teachers, principals, and other educational leaders.

Fighting Teacher Stress  In the face of emotionally demanding work and persistent policy churn, teacher stress is one of the largest threats to retention of great teachers. Though mindfulness and resilience trainings can help combat stress, deeper and more systemic changes are likely needed. (The Hechinger Report)

Selective Retention Bonuses for Highly Effective Teachers in High Poverty Schools: Evidence From Tennessee  Research has established that racially isolated schools with high concentrations of low-income students disproportionately struggle to recruit and retain highly effective teachers, limiting disadvantaged students’ exposure to high-quality instruction and driving institutional and community instability. This study estimates the effect of selective retention bonuses (SRB) for highly effective teachers on low-performing, high poverty schools’ ability to elevate student performance by increasing access to effective instruction. The theory of action behind the bonus program is simple: SRBs result in greater numbers of highly effective teachers at participating schools, who subsequently drive larger student gains than the teachers who would otherwise fill their positions. To examine whether students in high-poverty schools benefit from retention of highly effective teachers, the authors used differences in eligibility for schools to offer bonuses and the discrete timing of the program in a matched sample, difference-in-differences framework. Results indicate that schools that offered SRBs saw greater test score gains in subsequent years, especially on state reading exams. (Economics of Education Review)

States’ Standards for Teachers Don’t Define Culturally Responsive Teaching, Study Argues  The study found that while all states already incorporate some aspects of culturally responsive teaching within their professional teaching standards, most fail to provide a description of the practice that is clear or comprehensive enough to support teachers in developing and strengthening those skills. (Education Week)

Illinois – Bill Would Waive Tuition for STEM Students Who Teach in Public Schools  “Illinois faces a shortage of teachers in the STEM field, so we’re hoping to encourage Illinois students to go into the STEM field so that we can have instructors to train the next generation of manufacturing workers,” Illinois Manufacturing Association President Mark Denzler said. (Illinois News Network)

A Cultural Change With Momentum  The Des Moines Public Schools system has developed an account for local stakeholders of how it has reshaped the principal supervisor role as it seeks to improve instruction and promote educational equity—see this publication and video for details.

Principal Pipeline Districts See Stronger Student Achievement Gains, Retention  Schools with leaders placed as part of the Principal Pipeline Initiative (PPI)—a major, $75 million effort of The Wallace Foundation from 2011-16—have higher student achievement in both reading and math compared to similar schools that were not part of the initiative, according to a RAND Corp. study released Monday. (Education Dive)

Investing in Principal Talent Pays Off in Higher Math and Reading Scores, Study Finds  Principals who’ve had attention at every point in their development as a school leader were linked to stronger reading and math achievement and to longer tenures in their jobs at the helm of schools. (EdWeek)

How Does Illinois Elevate & Modernize The Teaching Profession?  Advance Illinois recently held its ninth annual legislator forum and the topic was all about teachers. Kenya Bradshaw, VP of policy & community engagement at TNTP shared her thoughts and experience on the best ways to recruit, develop, and retain high-impact teachers.

Equity and Diversity by Design: Recommendations on Recruiting and Retaining Teachers of Color in Illinois  While the Illinois student population has become more racially and linguistically diverse, the Illinois teaching force has not reflected this growing diversity. Research substantiates the significant benefits teachers of color have for all students. Teachers of color have been shown to increase student engagement, improve reading and math test scores, and boost college attendance rates for students of color while also ensuring white students feel cared for and challenged. Thus the gap between student and teacher diversity is a cause for concern in the Illinois educational system. Although efforts to recruit more teachers of color have produced a steadily-increasing pipeline of diverse applicants, the rate of attrition tends to erode these recruitment efforts. Teachers of color are leaving the profession at higher rates than their white colleagues.