Our first and largest grant to expand ways for more talented individuals to become teachers was our investment in the Minneapolis Public Schools Teacher Residency Program. This program, developed in partnership with the district, the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and the University of Minnesota, seeks to help diversify the teaching profession by reducing the barriers to access to licensure programming for dedicated district support staff. One of the most-significant barriers cited by aspiring educators was the financial burden. As a result, MPS developed this residency model to allow aspiring educators who serve in support staff roles to continue working full-time while earning their license. Residents spent a full school year co-teaching in a classroom four days per week and one day engaged in master’s-level coursework. Building on the successful model of this elementary residency, the district launched a similar residency model in partnership with the University of St. Thomas for aspiring special education teachers.
Most recently, stemming from our “alternative teacher certification” legislative win, we, along with the McKnight Foundation and Joyce Foundation, awarded TNTP a grant to conduct stakeholder engagement on their approach to teacher training and solicit feedback from schools to design and launch a new certification pathway that will enable aspiring educators to earn their license through intensive, hands-on coaching and essential coursework. Since TNTP’s inception in 1997, they have recruited and trained more than 50,000 teachers for more than two-dozen districts and charter management organizations, with half of the teachers certified through TNTP identifying as teachers of color. For more information on their work nationally to increase student success through great teaching, read TNTP’s blog.
Expanding high-quality new pathways into the teaching profession, especially for candidates of color, marks an exciting, necessary step on the path to better outcomes for Minneapolis’ 30,000 underserved youth.