New Report Offers Lessons Learned for Recruiting and Retaining Excellent Teachers

Proper career opportunities can help address teacher shortages, says Pearson and National Network of State Teachers of the Year

Washington, D.C. -- Schools across the country are facing a shortage of teachers. The New York Times reports that districts in California, Kentucky, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Rhode Island are all struggling to fill open teacher positions, warning of a larger crisis.

A new report, jointly issued by Pearson’s Research & Innovation Network and National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY), identifies ways to keep teachers in the profession. It describes the key elements of effective teacher career advancement continuum based on case studies from across the U.S.

“All districts with teacher career advancement initiatives we studied reported increased retention rates and an increase in applicants to teach in the district,” said Dr. Kathy McKnight, Principal Director of Research, Center for Educator Learning & Effectiveness at Pearson. “Our research shows that building a career continuum for teachers is an effective strategy for addressing persistent challenges, such as recruitment, retention and job satisfaction.”

Pearson and NNSTOY’s report profiles eight districts with teacher career advancement initiatives, including policies and considerations for success. Key elements of effective career advancement continuums include:

● Structured teacher leader roles

● Opportunities for free time and collaboration

● Compensation differentiation

● Peer coaching and evaluation

● Embedded professional development

● Structured teacher voice in decision making

“A more purposeful and systematic approach is needed to address the career aspirations of a new generation of teachers who want to be leaders from the classroom,” Katherine Bassett, Executive Director and CEO at NNSTOY. “Our recommendations reflect the importance of intentional and systematic policies and strategies in order to create sustainable and long-term solutions. Our report is timely with the renewed focus on teacher pathways.”

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides multiple new opportunities to build effective career continuums for teachers, including:

● States prioritizing building career advancement paths

● Districts investing in building teacher leadership capacity

● National grants to build career advancement continuums and supplement compensation for teacher leaders

Download the full report here.
The National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) is a non-profit organization serving as a professional home to State Teachers of the Year (STOYs) in what we call their years of service, following their Year of Recognition when they serve as their State Teacher of the Year. Our focus is on providing active and meaningful roles for our members, in furthering great teaching and strengthening student learning. We do this through three critical vehicles: policy, practice, and advocacy. To learn more about NNSTOY visit NNSTOY's website.

Contact: Jenna Ross,
About Pearson’s Research & Innovation Network
To help address the most pressing questions facing teachers and students, Pearson brought together top education experts in the Research & Innovation Network with the mission to research and invent capabilities and tools educators need to create engaging, meaningful, personalized learning that leads to student success. Led by Dr. Kimberly O’Malley, the Research & Innovation Network supports six centers: the Center for Digital Data, Analytics & Adaptive Learning; the Center for College & Career Success; the Center for NextGen Learning & Assessment; the Center for Learning Science & Technology; Center for Product Design Research & Efficacy, and the Center for Educator Learning & Effectiveness. Learn more at
About Pearson
Pearson is the world’s learning company, with 36,000 employees in more than 80 countries working to help people of all ages to make measurable progress in their lives through learning. For more information about Pearson, visit Pearson's website.