What We Do
Best in Class
Every child deserves the chance to be taught by well-prepared, effective, and diverse educators. In partnership with Communities Foundation of Texas, the Best in Class Coalition was created to ensure this opportunity is granted to every student, regardless of socioeconomic status, race or ethnicity.
Educators represent the single largest budgetary investments of any school district, and a large and growing body of research shows that educators are one of the most important school-based factors in student achievement. Through extensive research and stakeholder engagement, the Best in Class Coalition provides a roadmap for growing the proportion of students in Dallas-Fort Worth who are on track for college and career success by increasing access to effective and diverse teachers and school leaders.
Teachers cite negative school culture, lack of support, stress and burnout, and student discipline problems as main reasons for leaving the profession. Research also shows that teachers who begin their careers without significant in-classroom experience prior to the first year as a lead teacher, leave their districts at much higher rates. This is often exacerbated in high needs schools, which often have higher rates of turnover and more novice teachers.
Best in Class focuses on four key areas to attract, prepare, develop, and retain highly effective and diverse teachers and school leaders. When we realign educator effectiveness in the classroom, more students will have the opportunity for school and career success.
The Best In Class strategic plan is informed by the Bain & Company 2016 Teacher Pipeline case. This case included research of national best practices, analysis of publicly available data about the teaching force, input from regional school systems and teacher prep programs and a survey of teachers in Dallas-Fort Worth. The results of that case can viewed here.
In 2017, Best in Class, Bain & Company, partner school systems, and teacher prep programs distributed a second DFW Teacher Survey to further inform the regional strategy and the practices of participating organizations, those results can be viewed here.
Dallas faces several challenging headwinds regarding educator effectiveness:
A 2% year-over-year decline in the number of students interested in entering the teaching profession
High teach and school leader turnover raters exacerbate increased demands and financial burdens on school systems
An increasing number of teacher candidates receiving insufficient preparation, with over 50% of teachers certified through "fast track late hire" alternative certification programs