On Saturday, March 4, an East Bay Times news article on teacher retention in OUSD cited GO Teacher Policy Fellows’ policy briefs on improving new teacher support and leadership in the district, as well as our data analysis based on figures from the district’s new teacher support and development office. The article also featured GO Teacher Policy Fellow Jennie Harriot-Hatfield, who shared her hope for equity in teacher support across schools in the district.
“Among the group’s other recommendations in its two reports released in January are that new teachers should be given access to teaching mentors in navigating the challenges of working with students who have experienced trauma or are considered at-risk, as well as developing effective curriculum. It also said that a standardized exit interview should be conducted with every teacher who chooses to leave the district.
‘When teachers have a really rough couple of years, it makes it hard to stick it out, so we think that increasing teacher support will go a long way in increasing teacher retention,’ Herriot-Hatfield said.”
A few days later on Monday, March 6, Edgar Rodriguez-Ramirez, a GO Teacher Policy Fellow from Reach Academy, did an interview with Telemundo’s Pilar Niño about the Fellows’ recommendations for the new OUSD teacher contract, suggesting that OUSD provide more mentors for new teachers.
Finally, on March 8, GO Teacher Policy Fellow Hannah Lukanuski published an Op-Ed in the Oakland Post about the Fellows’ contributions to contract negotiations that are currently under way and the need to allocate the district’s resources to support new teachers to demonstrate a commitment to equitable student experiences and outcomes across Oakland.
“Better and more consistent support for new teachers would improve instruction in a significant portion of Oakland classrooms, improving the academic outcomes of students in those spaces. It would also reduce teacher turnover, which burdens students, staff, and school administrations. As the teacher contract negotiations between the Oakland Education Association and the district begin, we must continue to push for new teacher support to be included in the renegotiated contract.”