The Five Common Talent Management Challenges

The Five Common Talent Management Challenges

Through research and the collaborative sharing of lessons learned through the Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (STLE) Grant program, the Department has determined that five common talent management struggles often contribute significantly to issues of equity. Local Education Agencies (LEAs) can better prepare, recruit, develop, retain, and extend the reach of the most effective educators through their systemic use of the Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (TLE) Continuum and career ladder pathways.

The STLE Interactive Map highlights how over 25 LEAs have implemented initiatives to address common talent management challenges.

Click on the talent management challenges below to access concrete tools and resources to help you address each of the challenges.

  1. Preparation

    Teacher preparation coursework and experiences have been described as mediocre and inadequate in comparison to the level of classroom management and content knowledge necessary to effectively meet diverse student needs.1 Only approximately 10 percent of programs nationwide ensure that candidates’ student teaching experiences will be with teachers who are the most effective, and not just any teachers who are willing to open their classrooms to student teachers.2

    Mentoring roles for educator leaders as part of career ladder pathways can help LEAs better prepare pre-service candidates with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions, to demonstrate on-the-job effectiveness.3

  2. Hiring and Recruitment

    Research has shown that 83 percent of New York State’s new teachers take their initial assignments within 40 miles of their hometown.4 As a result, teacher labor markets are quite local, which is problematic for remote regions or those served by preparation programs that historically produce teachers with low qualifications. In addition, lock-step pay structures make it more difficult to attract top talent who seek higher salaries and career advancement opportunities.5

    Career ladder pathways make the entire profession more attractive by providing career advancement positions that recognize and reward excellence.6 In addition, career ladder pathways can help recruit top talent to positions in high-needs schools or hard-to-staff areas using transfer and recruitment awards.

  3. Professional Development and Growth

    Research shows that variation in teacher quality has the largest effect on how much a student achieves compared to any other school-related factor.7 Additionally, teaching and principal leadership have become more demanding with new rigorous accountability standards.8

    Career ladder pathways can empower teacher and principal leaders to advance their own professional practice as well as their peers, while fulfilling instructional leadership roles as coaches, mentors, or performing non-instructional work related to improving student outcomes.9

  4. Selective Retention

    In New York State, while schools retain a higher percentage of their most effective teachers compared to teachers rated Ineffective, at 87.9 percent and 84.2 percent respectively, this difference is not substantial and signals that statewide, schools are not using effectiveness-based retention strategies. Similarly, one in five of all principals in New York State in 2012-13 were no longer leading the same school the following year.

    Strategically planned talent management systems that include career ladder pathways can allow the most effective teachers and principals to directly impact more students and teachers, while at the same time, provide additional opportunities for growth, support and impact in traditionally stagnant roles.

  5. Extending the Reach of Top Talent to the Most High-Need Students

    Teachers are the single most important school-based factor affecting student achievement10, but in many places, the most effective teachers are not working with the students who need them most. Research shows that without providing all students access to high quality teachers, those students who start below grade level rarely catch up to their peers.11

    Career ladder pathways can be designed to provide more students with access to excellent educators by incenting them to transfer to or stay in high-needs schools or hard-to-staff areas. LEAs can also adopt collaborative teaching models that redesign educators’ jobs or use technology to increase the number of students directly taught by top teachers and in charge of their colleagues’ development.12

Click here to download a PDF that contains footnotes for the research referenced above.

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