Richardson, TX – Richardson Independent School District (RISD) Deputy Superintendent, Tabitha Branum, and district senior leadership made official last week a partnership with Dallas Teacher Residency (DTR) – a graduate educator preparation program serving the North Texas region. The partnership will directly support the Accelerated Campus Excellence (ACE) plan the district announced in March. The ACE plan prioritizes, identifies, and aims to place its highest performing teachers and principals at its lowest-performing elementary schools which also enroll some of RISD’s most impoverished students. These schools include the following in Far North Dallas – Carolyn Bukhair and RISD Academy, as well as the Lake Highlands schools – Forest Lane Academy and Thurgood Marshall.
A significant investment in developing future teachers for the district is included in the $3.2 million ACE initiative. Specifically, during the 2018-2019 school year, the district will invest $400,000 – $500,000 to provide teacher stipends to 20-25 pre-service teachers (teacher residents) in the DTR program. DTR will work with the district to help recruit, train, and support a strong and diverse pipeline of pre-service teachers to serve the 3,000 students attending these four schools. Residents selected to participate in the DTR program will spend an entire academic year in a teaching apprenticeship at an RISD ACE campus while also taking graduate coursework to earn their Texas teaching license and Masters in Arts of Teaching Degree from Texas A&M University – Commerce. This year of training occurs prior to pre-service teachers taking over a classroom on their own and is aimed to better prepare beginning teachers.
According to Deputy Superintendent Branum, this new partnership is directly aligned with RISD’s strategy of: “identifying top talent to teach in RISD, developing that talent in a way that supports new teachers from Day-1 in RISD, and finally, supporting not only new talent, but all teachers so that they are growing as professional educators and staying in RISD.”
Teacher residencies are a model of teacher preparation based on the medical profession’s approach to preparing physicians — residents spend a full year teaching and learning in classrooms alongside an excellent mentor to become an effective teacher.
The National Center for Teacher Residencies recently analyzed the national impact of residency programs , and found strong evidence that teacher residency programs positively impact student achievement and teacher retention which overall improves outcomes for high-need children.
“A lot of times people don’t associate Richardson ISD with campuses with high concentration of economic disadvantaged students, said RISD Superintendent Jeannie Stone. “This year we decided to see them, and focus on them and focus on equity, to fill in those gaps for those campuses and students.”
Established in 2013, DTR is the first teacher residency partnership in Texas – where a non-for-profit organization partners with both a public institution of higher education and a traditional independent school district. The educator preparation program differentiates itself from other educator preparation programs in that it is specifically geared towards preparing teachers to teach in high-need schools in traditional urban public school districts throughout North Texas. In addition to RISD, DTR also partners with Dallas Independent School District and Mesquite Independent School District. Texas A&M University – Commerce is the organization’s higher education partner.
“This is an exciting partnership not only for our organization, but for high quality educator preparation programs in the region, and across the country” said Dallas Teacher Residency Co-Founder and CEO, Rob DeHaas. “I believe one of our roles as an educator preparation program is to be transparent, and collaborative with key partners in order to provide the best preparation and subsequently, best new teacher experience for beginning teachers. That work cannot happen in silos – and so we are very much looking forward to this important work with Richardson ISD.”
Financial support from several strategic funding partners such as the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, The Meadows Foundation, The Simmons Foundation, Texas A&M University – Commerce, and the National Center for Teacher Residencies have been instrumental in allowing the collaborative partnership between Texas A&M University – Commerce and Dallas Teacher Residency to accelerate its growth and increase the pipeline of effective and diverse new teachers for North Texas.
To learn more about the Dallas Teacher Residency and Texas A&M University – Commerce teacher residency partnership, please visit www.dallastr.org.