A report written by the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Bellwether Education Partners commends the relationship between California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) and Long Beach City College (LBCC) as a model for teacher preparation in California, the LBUSD announced today.
A release issued by the LBUSD notes that the three Long Beach schools have created a pipeline that produces 70 percent of the school district’s new teachers and facilitates sessions where all three schools collaborate on teacher preparation and coursework. The new teachers graduating from CSULB and LBCC are fully aware of the LBUSD’s expectations and approach, the report states.
“California State University Long Beach, Long Beach Unified School District and Long Beach City College offer the state’s most comprehensive example of district–higher education collaboration around teacher preparation,” states the organization’s publication “Rethinking Teacher Preparation.”
The collaboration between the three institutions has occurred for 20 years, according to the LBUSD, with goals that include:
• Ongoing dialogue about what new teachers need and how to build that into the training experience.
• Faculty members and administrators from LBUSD teach courses in Cal State Long Beach’s College of Education.
• Some CSULB courses are offered on LBUSD school campuses, and co-taught by school district and university faculty.
• Faculty and administrators from the three institutions frequently collaborate to design and provide professional development for LBUSD faculty, and to revise coursework for preparation programs.
• Candidates complete highly structured field experiences in diverse, urban classrooms within LBUSD.
“These preparation partnerships are one component of LBUSD’s integrated approach to cultivating teacher talent, including recruitment and hiring, certification/licensure, induction/retention, professional development, and accountability,” the report states. “The district offers a variety of programs and services to support these objectives, all rooted in research on high-quality professional development.”
According to LBSUD, the school district has an annual attrition rate of just 7 percent compared to the nationwide average of 13 percent for urban school districts. The report attributes this to the “deep roots” the students have within the community, as many incoming teachers attended LBUSD schools growing up.