Workforce development is a major area of focus and influence when it comes to educator quality. School districts rely on their Human Resource (HR) practices to make informed decisions on educator recruitment, retainment and development.
In 2010, the state Legislature charged PESB with examining educator workforce development issues and supporting districts to project workforce needs. After statewide meetings with districts, PESB published a report in January 2012 to the Legislature (PDF) outlining findings and making recommendations.
Based on this report, PESB began to review support systems around HR training. At a statewide level, districts begin their school year with a variety of challenges, including:
- Changes in enrollment of students
- Changes in teacher positions
- Changes in a master schedule of courses
- Collective bargaining concerns
In this environment, HR practices can be chaotic and leave little time for HR development needs.
To begin supporting this work, PESB developed a case study (document) of three districts in the state who have consistently demonstrated unique and effective HR approaches. The study pointed to the importance of leadership and early hiring. PESB then commissioned a report on a statewide training strategy (document) that was built off of a literature review (PDF) of HR practices nationwide.
There are three primary components of the training:
- Recruitment: The challenges of recruitment and the competitive nature of districts efforts is addressed in the strategy. They use of social media and the challenges of hiring a diverse workforce is addressed.
- Selection: Standardized, locally developed criteria and ensuring unbiased efforts is explored. Small districts have difficulty in all HR work, so materials “off the shelf” are provided to assist in improving practice.
- Onboarding: This section covers welcoming new teachers and giving them an opportunity to develop and grow on the job. It includes onboarding strategies such as mentoring, and engaging new staff on the culture and values of the district.
This training will begin in 2019. An in-person training will be offered regionally, and eventually be expanded to statewide offerings. The OSPI Title II office, in collaboration with PESB, has also developed online training modules to enhance and support HR staff in their efforts to improve their practices and processes.