A New Book, “Improving Teacher Quality,” Offers Strategies and Tips for Recruiting and Keeping Talented Teachers

Washington, D.C. – A new book, Improving Teacher Quality: A Guide for Education Leaders, offers research-based tips and strategies that principals and a broad cross section of education leaders can use to recruit and retain talented teachers. Written by experts from the American Institutes for Research (AIR), the book identifies key influences on effective teaching – like working conditions and salaries – and provides strategies to address them.

“The book looks at the entire system for attracting and retaining teachers,” said author Sabrina Laine, an AIR vice president who wrote the book with Ellen Behrstock-Sherratt and Molly Lasagna. “Our intention is to offer greater perspective, greater ownership of change, and greater access to innovative ideas and best practices to those whose jobs typically only let them see certain aspects of teacher quality reforms.”

Drawing upon the latest educational research, the book provides vignettes and innovative strategy designed to produce a coordinated approach to quality teaching.

The authors explore eight important components that shape a teaching career: the preparation given by colleges and universities; local recruiting efforts; effective hiring procedures; introduction into a new position and the mentoring provided; ongoing professional development; compensation and incentives; positive working conditions; and the quality of performance evaluations.

“It is vitally important to develop a strategy that incorporates each of the components and recognizes the significant role each has in contributing to the development of high quality teachers,” said Laine, who manages the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

The book is based upon work the authors performed for Learning Point Associates, a nonprofit education research and consulting organization that joined AIR in 2010.

Professor of Education Joseph Murphy, the Frank W. Mayborn Chair of Education and Associate Dean of Peabody College, Vanderbilt University, said the authors provide “the most important guide available to help principals engage in the critical work of getting and supporting the best teachers possible. And they do so in a wonderfully comprehensive manner, with great insight, and with unparalleled attention to concrete, practice-based strategies.”

Additional information about Improving Teacher Quality and AIR’s work in teacher effectiveness is available on the AIR website www.air.org. The book, published by Jossey-Bass, is available on Amazon.com.

About AIR
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education and workforce productivity. For more information, visit www.air.org.


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