Education Leaders, Policymakers, Researchers Gather To Discuss Teacher Retention in Virginia


Education leaders, policymakers and academic researchers gathered at the University of Virginia for a summit to discuss teacher retention in Virginia.

Education leaders, policymakers and academic researchers gathered at the University of Virginia on Tuesday, October 23 for a summit to discuss teacher retention in Virginia. Hosted by the Office of the Secretary of Education and sponsored by UVA’s Curry School of Education and Human Development, the Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Association of School Superintendents, the day-long event took a similar shape to last year’s summit on teacher shortages.

“This convening will bring together state government policymakers, educational leaders from across the Commonwealth, and university researchers and enable them to engage in the kind of analysis and planning that truly shapes policy to make a positive difference,” said Secretary of Education Atif Qarni, prior to the event.

The overall focus of the summit was for stakeholder groups to collaborate and create policy recommendations in an effort to retain Virginia’s best teachers. Practitioners, policymakers, and scholars gathered and used the ideas and potential solutions generated from a pre-summit gathering held earlier this year.

Resources and video from the summit can be found on the Virginia Secretary of Education website. In conjunction with the summit, the UVA EdPolicyWorks research center launched a new website solely focused on policy in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Posted there are preliminary findings from an ongoing analysis of teacher retention and include a policy brief of the data and the full presentation of the data given at the summit.

“As we saw in last year’s convening that focused on the supply of new teachers, addressing critical issues like the teacher shortage and retention rest on a clear-eyed view of the data combined with informed discussions of promising ways to address our challenges,” said Bob Pianta, Dean of the University of Virginia Curry School of Education and Human Development.

Agenda was as follows:
 
10:00 Welcome & Greetings
Dr. Robert Pianta, Dean, Curry School of Education
Dr. Jeffery Smith, President of VA Association of School Superintendents
Dr. James Lane, Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction
The Honorable Atif Qarni, Virginia Secretary of Education
 
10:30 Data Analysis on Teacher Retention
Facilitated by Dr. Robert Pianta, Dean, Curry School of Education
Dr. Jim Wyckoff, Director of EdPolicyWorks, Curry School of Education
Dr. Luke Miller, Professor, Curry School of Education
 
11:30 Voices from the Field
Facilitated by Atif Qarni, Secretary of Education
Shelby Brown
Steven Edwards
Carla Okouchi
Cody Sigmon
Keri Treadway
 
1:15 Report from Pre-Summit on Teacher Retention and Model Teacher Exit Questionnaire
Dr. Denise Johnson, School of Education, College of William and Mary
 
2:15 Policy Landscape and Opportunities
Facilitated by Dr. James Lane, Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction
Honorable Glenn Davis Jr., Member VA House of Delegates
Honorable Cheryl Turpin, Member VA House of Delegates
Dan Gecker, President of Virginia Board of Education
Jim Livingston, President of Virginia Education Association
Douglas Fulton, President Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals
Dr. Jeffery Smith, President of VA Association of School Superintendents
 
3:15 Small Group Brainstorming and Policy Discussion
4:00 Reports from Small Groups & Next Steps
Facilitated by Dr. Stewart Roberson, Chair, UVA K12 Advisory Council

4:45 Concluding Remarks
Dr. Robert Pianta, Dean, Curry School of Education