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Teacher Recruitment and Retention

Mayor Karl Dean believes that a high quality education "all comes down to the teacher in the classroom" and to give every student in Nashville the opportunity to succeed, every school must have high quality teachers. That means doing what it takes to recruit the best and the brightest to Nashville's schools and then keeping them here by providing them with the support they need.

Early during his first term, Mayor Dean brought national teacher recruitment organizations, Teacher for America and The New Teacher Project, to Nashville. He also proposed, and strongly advocated for, an increase in starting teacher pay in 2012, which took Nashville from 30th in the state to 3rd. In the same budget, Mayor Dean provided funding for up to 100 new teacher positions at Metro Schools to prevent over crowding.

Teach for America TFA press conference

Teach for America (TFA) is a national nonprofit, created in 1989 by then Princeton University undergraduate student Wendy Kopp. TFA recruits the top college graduates from around the country and then trains them to teach in high-poverty schools for two year terms.

In 2008, Mayor Dean traveled to New York to meet with Wendy Kopp to discuss TFA coming to Nashville.  His persuasive skills paid off, and the first TFA corps members entered Metro Nashville schools in 2009.  

Since then, the number of TFA corps members in Nashville has continued to grow annually. Also, in a study by the State of Tennessee, TFA’s teacher training program in Nashville was ranked as the highest performing teacher training program in the state, based on student performance. Mayor Dean is confident that TFA will continue to be a big part of the improvement of Nashville’s schools.

For more information visit the TFA web page on Nashville.

The New Teacher Project

The New Teachers Project is a national non-profit committed to ending educational inequality by providing excellent teachers to the students who need them the most and by promoting policies that ensure effective teaching in every classroom. Specifically in Nashville, The New Teacher Project has been embedded in the Human Resources division of Metro Schools and has helped improve teacher recruitment efforts by moving it earlier in the year to give MNPS a better selection of teacher candidates.

The New Teachers Project is in 25 cities and has been in Nashville since 2009, when Mayor Dean worked to bring them here. Since that time, their teacher training program, The Nashville Teaching Fellows program, has trained accomplished professionals and recent college graduates to become highly effective teachers in schools that service high needs students in Metro Nashville.

For more information visit the Nashville Teaching Fellows website.