On April 1, 2015

Agency to host regional meetings on teacher retention

Part of federal effort to ensure high-quality educators for all

The Vermont Agency of Education (AOE) is pleased to announce seven regional meetings for public input in response to the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) call that all states must examine the extent to which schools that serve students from historically underserved communities (poverty and high-minority populations) are enjoying the same access to quality educators as those school with greater privilege (wealthy and low-minority populations).

“Our initial review of Vermont data suggests that there are pronounced inequities in access to high quality educators for our students attending schools with greater poverty, and these inequities are greatest in our rural and remote communities.

For example, in our high-poverty schools 6 percent of teachers are in their first year, compared to 3 percent of teachers in our low-poverty schools; in rural and remote areas this is even more pronounced. Among high-poverty schools, those located far from urban centers have 6.4 percent of teachers in their first year, compared to wealthier schools in these same areas, where 2.8 percent of teachers are in their first year,” said Amy Fowler, deputy secretary for the agency. “Through these community meetings, we hope to hear from the people living there and attending these schools to better understand what they believe is causing these inequities and what strategies they would suggest for addressing them.”

Each 90-minute meeting will include opportunities for community members to review the analyzed data, participate in small group discussions related to why these patterns of inequity exist and to generate suggestions for efforts Vermont should undertake to increase access to high-quality educators in these communities.

The Vermont AOE is seeking the public’s input through two mechanisms:  a survey and seven public meetings.

Locally, AOE will hold a meeting at Rutland High School on April 2, from 6:30-8 p.m. For more info. visit www.education.vermont.gov.

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