Educators and policymakers in California are faced with an ever-growing urgency to address chronic teacher shortages, which disproportionately affect lower-income students and students of color. Teacher residencies—programs that integrate credentialing coursework with a clinical placement in the public school classroom of an expert mentor teacher—have shown promise helping districts to meet specific workforce needs, diversify their workforce, and retain residency completers in high-need schools.
In an effort to develop long-term solutions to meet the need for diverse, well-prepared educators in high-needs areas, the state of California dedicated $75 million in 2018 to develop and expand teacher residency programs across the state through the California Teacher Residency Grant program. The grant-funded residencies are led by partnerships between school districts and colleges or universities, and are specifically focused on preparing STEM, bilingual, and special education teachers to teach in high-need schools.
This report summarizes learnings from the grant’s first year of implementation, 2019–20. It presents early evidence on leading indicators of employment outcomes, findings about how central aspects of grantee partnerships are functioning from the perspectives of key stakeholders, and learnings about how COVID-19 and associated school closures impacted residencies.
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WestEd points of contact for this evaluation are Melissa Eiler White at mwhite@WestEd.org and Sola Takahashi at stakaha@WestEd.org.