Westat is supporting teacher leadership initiatives to improve teacher recruitment, development, and retention. This work is being done in West Virginia and Arkansas through the Regional Comprehensive Centers—Region 5 Comprehensive Center (R5CC) and Region 14 Comprehensive Center (R14CC)—which are directed by Westat.
Westat is working with the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) and Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) to address common challenges in teacher leadership programs, such as establishing vision and goals, defining teacher leader roles, establishing supportive school climates, examining financial incentives, and building effective teacher leadership program evaluations.
To support West Virginia, R5CC reviewed County Teacher Leadership applications across 11 sections to assess counties’ capacity needs; the key findings were shared with WVDE and the Legislative Oversight Committee on Education in the WV Legislature.
In Arkansas, the R14CC team worked with ADE staff to align common teacher leader roles with the state lead and master teacher designations. Sandra Hurst, the director of the Office of Educator Effectiveness at ADE, commented: “Great initiatives sometimes fail or don’t get the leverage they deserve when communication is not effective. Working with Westat and Region 14 as thought partners on how to communicate our Master and Lead Teacher Designations to our stakeholders has been a “game changer.” The resources they provided have been extremely beneficial to our work.”