BPS Named "Great District for Great Teachers" By The National Council On Teacher Quality After Extensive Evaluation
The District is One of Just Eight Winners Nationwide Chosen For Its Policies and Practices that Support and Encourage Great Teachers
BOSTON - Tuesday, March 7, 2017 - The Boston Public Schools (BPS) is proud to announce today that the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), a national leader on teacher issues, has named the district a winner in the first-ever "Great Districts for Great Teachers" initiative. NCTQ chose BPS after a rigorous 18-month evaluation proved that BPS is a national leader in developing and caring for great teachers so they, in turn, can deliver great instruction to their students.
"We are honored that the NCTQ has named Boston Public Schools a 'Great District for Great Teachers,'" said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "This award recognizes the tremendous work the district has done to create a culture that develops and supports our teachers, and is a tribute to the dedication and passion of our many excellent teachers themselves."
"Great Districts for Great Teachers is a celebration of great teaching," said Kate Walsh, President of NCTQ, which selected winning districts after an extensive review of school systems' data and policies, teacher input and responses to 100 questions. "We celebrate the hard, often challenging efforts by a special group of school districts who have managed to put together policies and practices that make them great places for great teachers to work."
The 57,000 students who attend Boston Public Schools reflect a vibrant blend of cultures, representing 135 countries, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, and speaking 84 other languages. Approximately 86 percent of the district's students are black, Latino or Asian.
"The Boston School Committee believes that all of our students deserve an exceptional education-and access to great teachers who come from as many different cultures and heritages as they do," said Boston School Committee Chairperson Michael O'Neill, noting that BPS has one of the most diverse teaching staffs in the country. "Boston Public Schools, the nation's first public school system, is committed to ensuring that every child has access to a high-quality education."
"We greatly value our teachers and recognize the tremendous impact they have on improving students' lives. They make a difference, each and every day," said Boston Public Schools Superintendent Tommy Chang. "We are also committed to building a teaching force that is not only the most talented in the nation, but also celebrates and reflects the rich diversity of our students. We've worked hard to attract promising teachers who are culturally, racially and linguistically diverse by kicking off our hiring process early and hiring the best and most diverse candidates possible through a process of mutual consent."
In addition to Boston Public Schools, other winners include: Broward County School District (Florida), Denver Public Schools, District of Columbia Public Schools, Gwinnett County Public Schools (Georgia), New York City Public Schools, Pinellas County School District (Florida), and Pittsburgh Public Schools.
NCTQ developed the criteria for this honor based on its experience stretching over a decade analyzing district human capital policies and practices, as well as input from teachers and other education leaders. The eight winners excelled in five criteria that research suggests connect to effective teaching: compensation, professional support, effective management and operations, career and leadership opportunities, and support services for students.
Some of the criteria included:
Salaries provide a good standard of living and the district finds ways to reward excellence.
Professional development and coaching are tailored to teachers' needs and include plenty of collaborative planning time.
Schools are run efficiently, with evidence that the district allows its schools to make the decisions that are in their best interest.
There's plenty of opportunity for teachers to take on leadership roles.
Teachers get lots of support from the district when it comes to meeting the needs of students.
In choosing the winners, researchers carefully evaluated data from the teachers' contract, examined documents and data submitted by the district, surveyed teachers, and interviewed teachers. NCTQ staff verified the selected finalists through focus groups with teachers and interviews with district leaders in each district.
NCTQ organized the "Great Districts for Great Teachers" initiative because it believes supporting and aiding great teachers is the best way to shape a better future for all students. Great teachers not only provide an excellent education for their own students, they also become inspiring role models and leaders for the entire teaching profession.
"We've worked hard to make Boston a great place to teach," said Emily Kalejs Qazilbash, Assistant Superintendent of Human Capital for Boston Public Schools. "It's exciting to be recognized by the 'Great Districts for Great Teachers' initiative for the work we've done to attract, hire and retain excellent educators."
This is the first year the National Council on Teacher Quality has named "Great Districts for Great Teachers." More details about the program can be found at greatdistricts.org.
"Great teachers transform the lives of their students," said Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education from 2009-2016. "Great districts understand their most important job is to get great teachers into every single one of their classrooms, and support them in the complex, critically important work they do every day."
WATCH: NCTQ announces the winners and holds panel at SXSWedu