Sure, it’s a welcome sign to see posted around America as we recover from the Great Recession. In Massachusetts, a new relationship is being introduced that will marry the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary and local school districts in order to hire teachers in areas that need high quality teachers. 35 schools have been identified within the state and unlike previous incentives that involved money, this time the funding will come in part from turnaround grants. Using websites, foundation dollars, Twitter, and Facebook, the strategy is to help improve achievement levels in those schools that are most in need in the state.
Many edu-minded readers may remember previous attempts at getting teachers to move schools and/or states by offering large signing bonuses. With a very different economic situation facing us now, the attempt by Massachusetts is based more on pride and the hopes that many districts will encourage teachers who want to make the biggest impact possible on their students. The question we’re wondering at BoardBuzz today is–will this work? Will other states and local districts follow their lead? Or are teachers looking for more than just a change in scenery? We’ll be waiting to see the results, and hope urban students in Massachusetts districts reap the benefits.