How Can a Roundtable on Education Human Capital Help Your State?

Blog post Megan BorenSREB Program Specialist

Another school year has started, and nearly every state in the SREB region is facing major human capital challenges including teacher shortages. Schools now face shortages not only in STEM courses and special education but in most subject areas. A high proportion of underprepared emergency-certified teachers and newly certified first- or second-year teachers puts extra burden on mentor teachers, the school leadership team, and professional learning and curricula teams at central offices. As if this weren’t enough, decades of low pay, increasing class sizes and difficult parent-teacher relationships have wreaked havoc on the effort to recruit students and retain young professionals in the teaching profession.

States and schools are in panic mode. Legislatures are trying to halt the trend, but research and practice tell us that increasing pay alone isn’t going to solve this crisis. And lowering standards for the profession only leads to lowering student achievement in the long run.

The answer is a complex interweaving of policy and practice solutions that is different in every state, depending on individual history, data and goals. SREB helps states navigate these complexities and find solutions that work.

SREB researchers and facilitators help a team of education leaders in a state identify the distinct challenges contributing to these human capital issues. We use a deliberate and collaborative process that calls on their experience and sifts through data and research to identify both barriers and innovative solutions.

Currently we are leading a series of year-long meetings with a roundtable of diverse education leaders in North Carolina and Alabama to do just this. North Carolina leaders are already working on transformative ideas for the state’s licensure process, and more roundtables will begin this winter in Oklahoma and Mississippi.

SREB has grant funding to assist two more states in this endeavor. We can help your state to work through the challenges in  teacher recruitment, preparation, licensure, compensation, mentorship, retainment, professional development, advanced teacher leader roles, data systems and school partnerships, finding a better way forward.

If you’d like SREB’s help in convening a roundtable of education leaders to solve the challenges threatening a strong and lasting teacher workforce in your state, contact Stevie Lawrence or Megan Boren  today.