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 address an ongoing teacher shortage in the state. ISBE is tackling teacher recruitment challenges while also working toward finding and recruiting 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 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 2022, R9CC will support ISBE’s strategic plan by summarizing the causes of teacher shortage and identifying evidence-based strategies aligned to the eight previously identified problem statements. R9CC will facilitate three stages of strategy sessions to address teacher shortages and equity and diversity gaps, providing thought partnership, resources, and content expertise facilitated through regular meetings.

Click below to read R9CC’s summary of student focus groups and teacher interviews conducted in 2021.

Summary of Findings From Illinois Student Focus Groups and Teacher Interviews