Why Great Educators Matter

Great schools require great people. When a student thrives in the classroom, he or she is not alone; accomplished and dedicated leaders, teachers, and staff members are with that student, providing quality instruction, inspiration, and support. Educators represent the single largest budgetary investments of any school district, and research shows that the level of preparation and support educators receive directly correlates to student learning and success.

A region-wide focus on cultivating strong teachers and school leaders is imperative, so that all students in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, regardless of socio-economic status or race/ethnicity, are taught by well-prepared and effective teachers.

Dallas County Snapshot: Educator Quality: Best in Class

Dallas faces several challenging headwinds regarding its educator pipeline:

  1. A decrease in the number of students interested in entering the teaching profession;
  2. High teacher turnover rates, resulting in increased demands and financial burdens on school systems;
  3. An increasing number of teacher candidates receiving insufficient preparation.

Teacher turnover rates have increased across nearly all districts in Dallas County since 2013. Research shows that negative work environments, lack of support, stress and burnout, and student discipline issues all contribute to the high turnover of teachers in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.

Interestingly, research also shows that teachers who come from alternative certification programs, without significant in-classroom experience prior to the first year as a lead teacher, leave their districts at much higher rates in the early years of teaching.

Additionally, high-needs students experience greater teacher turnover and overall have less experienced teaching staff. New teachers with less than three years of classroom experience are two times as likely to teach in high-poverty schools, and low retention of newly hired teachers disproportionately impacts the districts with the highest levels of student poverty.

Out of the 501,000 Pre-K – 12 public school students in Dallas County, 73% are eligible for Free or Reduced Price Lunch, making the issues of high-need students a reality that each district in the county is dealing with in an acute way.

Three Challenges for the Dallas Educator Pipeline

Click on the images below to enlarge.

Shrinking Supply

Shrinking Supply

Shrinking Supply

CloseShrinking Supply

Increasing Demand

Increasing Demand

Increasing Demand

CloseIncreasing Demand

Teacher Quality

Teach Quality

Teacher Quality: ACP-Certified Felt Less Prepared

CloseTeach Quality

Data Source: Commit!/Bain Teacher Survey, Dallas County, Spring 2016, N = 2262.

View the entire Bain & Company 2016 DFW Teacher Pipeline Analysis here.

Learn What We’re Doing About It

In close collaboration with other districts, community leaders, volunteers and local businesses, The Commit! Partnership is working towards the vision that all students in Dallas – Fort Worth, regardless of socioeconomic status or race/ethnicity, will be taught by well-prepared, effective teachers.

High-potential, diverse educators
Attract an increasing number of high-potential, diverse teachers and school leaders into the field of education broadly and in the DFW area specifically.
Educators to lead in classrooms & schools
Ensure that all educator candidates go through certification programs and onboarding that prepare them effectively for the classroom.

Educator expertise and effectiveness
Strengthen existing educator quality through improved and differentiated professional development, as well as expanded feedback cycles delivered by highly effective school leaders.
Educators to lead in classrooms & schools
Ensure effective school leaders retain quality educators by enhancing the teaching environment and making available greater career path options through distributed leadership models.

Advisory Board

The Best in Class Advisory Board is comprised of local business and philanthropic leaders committed to ensuring every child, regardless of socio-economic status or race/ethnicity is taught by well-prepared, effective teachers.

View our Advisory Board here.

Collective Impact

We have 29 and counting regional partners and national supporters collaborating in Best in Class.


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