About the TEI
In November 2009, Memphis City Schools was awarded a prestigious $92 million, 7-year Intensive Partnership Grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for its Teacher Effectiveness Initiative proposal. Memphis City Schools was one of only three districts, along with a coalition of charter schools in Los Angeles, to receive funding during the highly competitive proposal review process.
Key Components of Teacher Effectiveness Reform Plan
MCS is committed to dramatically boosting student achievement and college-ready graduation rates through the following actions:
Creating a common, agreed-upon process to define and measure effective teaching. The new Teacher Effectiveness Measure (TEM) will include multiple factors, including: growth in student learning; observation of teachers’ practices; perceptions of students, parents, and colleagues; and teacher knowledge in their subject area.
Increasing the number of effective teachers.
- Enhance strategic Human Resources capacity by expanding the existing partnership with The New Teacher Project to handle all teacher recruitment and staffing services; Increase the pipeline of teacher candidates through better coordination with partners, including Teach for America, Memphis Teacher Residenc, and Memphis Teaching Fellows.
- Raise the bar for tenure so that it is based on the TEM and link it to significant increases in compensation and roles/responsibilities.
- Boost the retention of effective teachers, particularly early in their careers, through performance-based retention incentives.
- Increase the turnover of the most ineffective teachers.
Supporting, rewarding, and better utilizing teachers.
- Improve the teacher evaluation process based on the TEM.
- Connect professional development opportunities to individual need, based on more frequent observation and feedback.
- Create new and differentiated career paths that promote teachers to increasing levels of influence (e.g., Beginning Teacher, Professional Teacher, Master Teacher).
- Give teachers greater rewards for differentiated roles and performance.
- Strategically place Master Teachers in the schools and classrooms where they are needed most.
Improving school culture and environments to foster effective teaching and learning.
- Provide additional training and support to principals, assistant principals, and aspiring principals through the newly formed MCS Urban Education Center and continue to partner with New Leaders for New Schools to target high-quality principal recruits.
- Engage external support for training teachers and principals on developing positive and productive school climates.
- Develop a new technology platform to support data-driven decision-making in order to improve teacher effectiveness.