YEO Policy Books 2015 Policy Book - Page 75

Fresno Teacher Residency Program Origin: Fresno Unified School District Link: Click here Summary: In partnership with California State University, Fresno, Fresno Unified School District applied for and received the federal Teacher Quality Partnership grant worth 7.8 million to establish the Fresno Teacher Residency Program to help recruit, train, and support future teachers in the California Central Valley. Talking Points & Important Information: • When it comes to high-needs schools, teacher quality and development supports are even more imperative. From positive behavior intervention supports to cultural competency and the overall lack of resources, these schools can be taxing for educators and administrators alike. And when a diversity gap is thrown into the mix, the school can seem more unwelcoming. Research shows that when students see teachers who share their racial or ethnic backgrounds, academic outcomes for students of color improve and they often view schools as safer, more welcoming spaces. • According to a recent study by The Century Foundation, Fresno is in the top 10 cities nationally with the highest concentrations of poverty for black, Latino, and white communities. While the concentration of poverty in other cities tended to increase steadily from 2000 to 2013, in Fresno it declined during the first years of the period, then shot up dramatically during the Great Recession that began mid-decade. Even more alarming, Fresno’s poor residents are among the most isolated of any American city, regardless of race. • Recognizing that teacher quality is the number one factor in raising student achievement and combating the cycle of inequity, Fresno Unified partnered with CSU Fresno to provide children in high-poverty schools with competitive educational opportunities. The Fresno Teacher Residency Program (FRTP) will have an emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education and will provide highly effective teachers who will be recruited, selected, and trained to address the specific needs of the school district. The overarching goal of the program is to improve student academic achievement by improving the effectiveness of new and existing teachers. • An important aspect of this plan is the “grow our own” teachers initiative, a sustainable strategy for developing a diverse and effective teaching force that is committed to high academic expectations for their community of learners. • For more on recruiting and retaining diverse talent to your school district, click here. For another example of the “Grown Your Own Teachers” initiative, click here. 2015 POLICY BOOK SCHOOL INTRO BOARD LEVEL PAGE 75