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Iowa Teacher Recruitment and Retention Exploration

Project lead: Catherine Jacques 

The Task Force on Growing a Diverse K–12 Teacher Base in Iowa released a report in December 2021 with recommendations for improving teacher recruitment and retention in the state. According to the report, “[I]n Iowa, there is a critical shortage of teachers. The shortage is even more pronounced for teachers with identities underrepresented in the teaching force.” The Iowa Department of Education (IDOE) recognizes that teacher shortages have been a growing challenge over the past several years, and that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated many of those challenges. IDOE seeks to gather clear and representative data and thought partnership to address teacher recruitment and retention challenges.

To support this goal, the Region 9 Comprehensive Center (R9CC) will collaborate with IDOE to gather data that explore factors affecting teacher recruitment and retention and will identify next steps based on these findings. During the first year of the project, R9CC will work with IDOE to identify the specific questions they have about recruitment and retention, identify key types of information needed to support recruitment and retention decisions by state leadership, and develop survey and focus group instruments to gather needs-sensing data. In the second year of the project, R9CC will help to gather needs-sensing data via surveys and interviews, analyze needs-sensing data, and develop materials to help IDOE communicate findings with key stakeholders and state leaders.