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What Are the Top Districts for Supporting and Retaining Great Teachers?

What are the top districts for recruiting, supporting, and retaining great teachers?

According to the National Council on Teacher Quality, they are Boston; Broward County, Fla.; Denver; the District of Columbia; Gwinnett County, Ga.; New York City; Pinellas County, Fla.; and Pittsburgh, Pa.

The eight districts were named Tuesday as "Great Districts for Great Teachers" for programs and policies that encourage and support teachers. This is the first year that the Washington-based organization has announced winners of the initiative. 

Among the eight districts, the NCTQ also spotlighted Washington, D.C., and Gwinnett County as "Outstanding Great Districts" for going beyond the organization's expectations.

The award highlights districts that "have proven themselves national leaders in developing great teachers, so that they, in turn, can deliver great instruction to their students," the organization said in announcing the award.

According to the NCTQ, the districts shone in five major criteria: compensation, professional support, management and operations, career and leadership opportunities, and student services.

Researchers spent 18 months going over data culled from teachers' contracts and interviewing teachers from the districts. The NCTQ also used focus groups and interviews with district leaders to help make the final decision, the organization said. 

Honorable mentions also went to four districts for their work in specific areas: Duval County, Fla., for policies on teacher support and feedback; Indianapolis for staffing; Newark, N.J., for compensation and evaluation; and Osceola County, Fla., for professional support. 

The award was sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Heinz Endowments, and the Walton Family Foundation. ( The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provides financial support for Education Week's coverage of personalized learning, while the Walton Family Foundation supports coverage of school choice and parent empowerment.) 

You can find more information on the award and process at www.greatdistricts.org

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