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Teacher Staffing Report Pairs Some Potentially Useful Recommendations With a Dearth of Evidence

BOULDER, CO (May 24, 2022)—In response to Covid-related teacher shortages, the TNTP think tank (formerly “The New Teacher Project”) released a report with recommendations for district leaders in crafting short- and long-term teacher staffing plans. A new review of that report finds that it includes some positive elements but suffers from several research-related weaknesses.

Ed Fuller of Penn State University reviewed Addressing Teacher Shortages: Practical Ideas for the Pandemic and Beyond, and found it to contain clearly articulated employment goals and some potentially useful recommendations. However, the review finds several weaknesses.

First, Professor Fuller details, the report fails to provide peer-reviewed research to substantiate claims, so that it’s unclear which, if any, recommendations are evidence-based. Second, the report assumes districts are large and metropolitan, with ample discretionary funds. Many recommendations will not be useful to smaller districts—especially rural districts—or to districts with limited funds. Third, the report ignores at least three key research-based issues: the importance of teacher-student relationships to effective teaching and learning, the importance of leaders of color in recruiting and retaining teachers of color, and the importance of principal stability in creating a stable cadre of well-qualified teachers.

Accordingly, while school and district leaders may find in this report some useful ideas to consider, they should read additional research to independently determine whether recommendations of interest are evidence-based and how local context might affect implementation.

Find the review, by Ed Fuller, at:

Find Addressing Teacher Shortages: Practical Ideas for the Pandemic and Beyond, published by TNTP, at:

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