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Challenges to Professional Culture & Quality

**Cetel, J. (2015, January 15). Making teaching cool again: How schools must adapt to recruit millennial talent. Forbes. Available at

This opinion piece argues that the teaching profession needs a major overhaul to recruit and retain effective teachers, especially from the millennial generation. The author argues that teaching should be a competitive profession for millennials, but it suffers from an inability to cater to their needs. To address this issue, he proposes changes to three fundamental areas of the teaching profession: competitive compensation, a realistic career pipeline, and autonomy in working conditions. He further contends that school leaders should adapt and design their own local policies on teacher recruitment and retention as no one-size-fits-all approaches to have been identified.

**Jacob, A., Vidyarthi, E., & Carroll, K. (2012). The irreplaceables: Understanding the real retention crisis in America’s urban schools. Available at

Urban school districts face persistent challenges with teacher retention, especially for the top 20 percent of teachers—a group this TNTP report calls “irreplaceables.” The report identifies three main causes of these retention problems. First, principals put too little effort into giving positive feedback or recognition for irrepaceables’ performance that will encourage them to remain in the classroom, while simultaneously taking few steps to dismiss the low-performing teachers. Second, weak instructional cultures with low expectations for quality drive away high performers. Last, the current policies in place give few incentives for district leaders to change their ways; principals in many districts have encountered barriers that discourage or prevent them from making smarter retention decisions.

Additionally, the one-page excerpt entitled “Policy Barriers to Smart Retention” identifies several policies and procedures that further discourage high quality teachers from staying in the profession. The full report argues that these factors must change in order to improve teacher retention nation-wide.

**This document is considered a priority reading.