In addition to developing alternative ways of recruiting alternative ways of recruiting fresh graduates, top-performing systems have also found ways to recruit more experienced graduates. Typically, teacher training requirements create barriers to recruiting such people. Applicants to teaching who have already completed their university studies and started work generally have to undertake a year of training, during which they use a year’s earnings, as well as often having to bear the cost of the course in addition. This makes entry into the profession unattractive to experienced hires, particularly those with families or other financial commitments. Opening up alternative routes into teaching in which entrants are relieved of this financial burden increases significantly the pool of potential applicants into the profession.Of all the thoughts in How the worlds best-performing school systems make it to the top, only that one made me sad.
Kentucky already applied this great lesson, and we got great new teachers by promising to forgive their loans. The participants included many talented people who already had established careers and family responsibilities. It was a brilliant, world-class idea.
Except, the loans aren't being forgiven, the teachers are being crushed by debts they were coaxed to take on, and we're still looking for ways to say promises weren't made and don't have to be kept. Details on the Best in Class debacle are here, and a perfect illustration of how not to prepare for global competition.