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Metro Schools seeks experienced educators to improve priority schools

by PRIDE Newsdesk

Metro Schools has officially launched a campaign to recruit 100 of America’s top teachers to the MNPS Turnaround Corps. Corps members will join the district’s mission for rapid improvement at priority and other low performing schools. Recruiting efforts will focus on both internal candidates and a national search for teachers with proven success in urban schools.

“Great teachers and great leaders form the foundation of school turnaround,” said Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register. “We aim to build a pool of 100 turnaround teachers and let principals essentially choose their teams from that pool. Working together, they can form a critical mass in their schools that will lead to big, positive change.”

The Turnaround Corps will be made up of elementary, middle and high school teachers in the core subjects of reading/language arts, math and science. Applicants must have at least three years of successful teaching experience in a turnaround setting and will be expected to present evidence of that success. The application process will be extensive, including an essay detailing turnaround work, surveys on educational beliefs and instructional skills and a rigorous set of interviews.

Teachers who make it into the Turnaround Corps will start work in July 2015, though some may be called to Nashville this spring for a series of planning meetings. Incentives include the opportunity for 11-month contracts, which raises their base pay; performance bonuses; leadership roles and more.

“We are serious about bringing experienced educators to the Metro students who need them most,” said Dr. Register. “Low performing schools often have a concentration of ineffective teachers and high rates of turnover. Bringing in a core group of veterans who have done this kind of work before and done it well can help motivate and lead an entire faculty to greater heights.

“Many of those teachers may already be working in Metro Schools. We hope to recruit several of the Turnaround Corps members from right here in Nashville and bring them together with a class of the very best from America’s urban school districts.”

Nationwide recruiting efforts will seek to recruit candidates who reflect the diversity of the district. The campaign will target cities like New York, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Chicago and many more. The targeted cities are known as hubs for innovative education, including some Broad Prize for Urban Education finalists and winners. Many also have high numbers of residents already relocating to Nashville. The campaign includes recruiting events as well as advertisements online, in professional publications and with professional teacher organizations like Teachers of Color and the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics.

“Above all, we are looking for an unwavering belief that all students can excel academically along with the self-confidence and flexibility to get them there,” said Susan Thompson, Metro Schools’ chief human capital officer. “These teachers will form the core of our turnaround effort in these schools.”
In addition to the rewarding work in Metro Schools, Nashville itself can serve as a recruiting tool as it offers a great deal of its own attractive incentives for teachers looking to relocate.

“This is not only one of America’s hottest cities, but there is so much happening in Nashville education right now. It’s a great place for teachers to work,” said Thompson. “We have strong support from the community and local government and amazing business and non-profit partners. If you are passionate about education, Nashville is the place to be.”

The MNPS Turnaround Corps application is now open. Details, requirements and a link to the application can be found at . The application deadline is Friday, December 19.

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