Project Description

California Teacher Residency Lab (CA TRL)

There is an unprecedented opportunity in the State of California right now to ensure teachers are student-ready on their first day in the classroom by helping local education agencies (LEAs) develop and scale teacher residencies in partnership with accredited preparation programs. The California Legislature allocated $75 million in the 2018-2019 budget to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) for teacher residencies in three focus areas: bilingual education, STEM and special education. Since the allocation, CTC has worked to develop the RFPs, issued planning grants, and awarded teacher residency grants to 33 school/university partnerships.

The California Teacher Residency Lab (CA TRL) was created in order to provide a system of support that will accelerate the progress of teacher residencies that received capacity, expansion or scale grants funded through the state. CDE Foundation will coordinate the development of the CA TRL and ensure a common vision of high-quality, research based characteristics that will result in effective teacher residencies. Research is showing that teacher residencies have a variety of benefits for both students and future teachers. A 2017 report by the Learning Policy Institute found that teacher residencies:

  • Create a vehicle to recruit teachers for high-needs fields and locations;
  • Offer recruits strong content and clinical preparation specifically for the kinds of schools in which they will teach;
  • Connect new teachers to early career mentoring that will keep them in the profession; and
  • Provide financial incentives that will keep teachers in the districts that have invested in them.

Given that this is a new state investment in changing how we effectively prepare teachers, this fits with CDE Foundation’s goal of executing on programmatic priorities that demonstrate positive systemic changes. Additionally, it reflects how we do our work, through convening people and organizations to develop innovative solutions, as well as through catalyzing new approaches to meeting statewide goals.

Partners and Participants – Partners of the CA TRL include the 18 participating teacher residency partnerships, Technical Assistance providers, funders and advocacy organizations, an evaluator, the Lab convener, and strategic advisors that form part of an Advisory Committee. The CA TRL team will coordinate with policy makers, advocacy organizations, and other agencies with the help of the Learning Policy Institute (LPI) who will coordinate policy updates to communicate the effectiveness and lessons learned from the Lab along with West Ed.