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ERS and the USHCA Talk "First Steps"

The Urban Schools Human Capital Academy participated in a joint webinar on the first steps to transform the teaching job

Reforming teacher compensation is a complex, multi-step process. But what if there were first steps you could take to get started?

Recently, ERS and the Urban Schools Human Capital Academy (USHCA)—an organization devoted to addressing human resources and human capital issues—hosted a webinar to review the first steps to reforming teacher compensation and career pathways. The webinar focused on ERS' First Steps paper, which outlines a series of actions that districts can take to start moving toward a future vision of the teaching job. The webinar was presented to members of USHCA's Academy Districts program, and seven districts were represented:

  • Atlanta Public Schools
  • Houston Independent School District
  • Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Pittsburgh Public Schools
  • Prince George's County Public Schools
  • Seattle Public Schools
  • Tulsa Public Schools

These districts represent approximately 1.2 million students and 62,000 teachers. As part of the USHCA they are all working to "address mission-critical issues such as recruitment, retention, and principal and teacher quality," among other issues.

ERS partner Stephen Frank spoke with the participants to help them understand which steps drive the most gains in student outcomes over time. ERS defines First Steps as actions which:

  • Have a positive impact on student outcomes
  • Can be implemented within a year
  • Can be implemented within existing collective bargaining agreements or are likely to have broad support
  • Require little or no new investment, or are budget neutral when implemented in combination
  • Build toward a new vision of a teacher compensation and career path system that can attract, retain, and leverage the skills of a highly effective teaching force

Districts left the call excited about the possibilities to make lasting impact on student outcomes through redesigning teacher compensation. This is just the beginning of a conversation, but ERS is ready to continue the work. For more information about teacher compensation, explore the Teaching section of our School System 20/20 site.

To explore the First Steps paper, click here.

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