Teacher Retention in Chicago Public Schools

Project State

Project lead: Mara Schanfield (mschanfield@air.org)

The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Talent Office assists a cohort of 50+ hard-to-staff Opportunity Schools to provide intensive teacher recruitment, retention, and teacher leadership supports. Building on work started in 2017–18, the Midwest Comprehensive Center and CPS, in partnership with the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders and Public Impact, are collaboratively supporting Opportunity Schools through differentiated professional learning to improve teacher retention. The support model is designed to fill gaps that CPS noted through a review of school- and cohort-level teaching conditions data.

In this project, school teams use a collaborative data interpretation process to examine local teaching conditions data, determine areas in which they need support, and plot out action steps. Some schools are eligible to opt into additional coaching supports regarding the challenge of “managing student conduct,” which surfaced in many schools’ teaching conditions data.

What Are We Doing?
  • Offering an informational webinar and survey on teaching conditions
  • Facilitating two levels of collaborative data interpretation—a version for first-time participating schools and a deeper version for schools that participated last year
  • Providing in-person coaching on learning conditions and school climate with schools’ instructional leadership or administrative teams
  • Facilitating a virtual community of practice for returning teachers selected by their principals to mentor new teachers
Expected Outcomes
  • CPS and Opportunity School leaders have an improved understanding of local barriers to teacher retention.
  • Participating schools increasingly use data to drive decisions about teaching conditions.
  • Mentors have a greater capacity to support newer teachers.
  • A differentiated support model is created that CPS can use with Opportunity Schools in the future.
  • Concerns with managing student conduct and school climate decrease for schools that opt into coaching support.
  • Great teachers and leaders
  • Data-based decision making