Through intensive mentoring and training for everyone from novice instructors to top district leaders, a long-troubled California system is seeing teacher turnover fall and test scores rise.
When Erik G. Brown launched his teaching career at the Cesar Chavez Academy here four years ago, he wasn’t alone: Seventy-five percent of the teachers in the 400-student middle school were new to the district, and two-thirds of those were new to the field.
The school had gone through six principals in six years, and its largely Hispanic, low-income student population was struggling. That year, only 1 percent of 8th graders scored at the “proficient” level on the state algebra test.
“We had one other 7th grade math teacher at the school site,” Mr. Brown recalled, “and she was brand-new as well. There wasn’t too much we could do...
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