Continuous Improvement of a Statewide Plan for Teacher Recruitment, Retention, and Recognition

Project Lead: James Colyott

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is working to strengthen the teacher pipeline in the state and working to recruit and retain effective and diverse teachers to staff all K-12 classrooms. Key challenges affecting the Illinois teacher pipeline include a decrease in the number of teacher preparation program completers, lack of diversity in the teaching candidate pool, subject areas with growing demand, and recruitment of new teachers in Chicago and rural areas.

To support this work, the Region 9 Comprehensive Center (R9CC) is collaborating with ISBE to use its strategic planning process to align and continuously improve statewide efforts for the recruitment, retention, and recognition of effective teachers. In 2019–20, R9CC supported ISBE staff as they identified existing and planned initiatives to address the teacher shortage as well as the key local and state leaders who support these initiatives and analyzed data to identify equity and diversity gaps in the teacher development pipeline. In 2020–21, R9CC supported ISBE staff as they collected additional data, interviewed students and teachers, and engaged diverse stakeholders to identify causes of equity and diversity gaps in the teacher development pipeline.

Continuing into 2023, R9CC is supporting ISBE with goal 3 of their 2020-23 Strategic Plan, which focuses on elevating educators and aligning initiatives and strategies across the state to improve educator preparation, retention, and recognition. R9CC is helping to create and maintain a Geographic Information System (GIS) map to support education stakeholders to better understand factors that may be affecting educator shortage challenges and identify and share effective locally developed practices. R9CC will engage stakeholders in the development and review of the GIS map, work with ISBE to cofacilitate ongoing meetings with Illinois stakeholders to design the wireframe of the map and discuss and review revisions to maintain the map for public access.