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How can high-poverty schools become the kinds of places teachers want to teach?

Stephanie Hirsch, executive director of Learning Forward, tackled that question in a webinar discussing a new study on teaching and learning from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (which I write about this week in Huffington Post).

Hirsch observed that high-performing, high-poverty schools are able to attract and retain teachers because they uniformly have systematic ways to ensure that professional learning and collaboration is high. Leadership, she said, is the key to creating the kinds of schools that provide those systems of collaboration. These are, she said, the schools that “beat the odds.”

That is exactly what Christina Theokas, director of research for Ed Trust, and I found when we studied what we call “Getting It Done” schools — high-performing and rapidly improving schools with significant populations of students of color and students from low-income homes.

With good leadership focused on helping teachers learn and improve, schools not only succeed academically, but become the kinds of places that teachers want to work.

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