Year 6 Project Overview: Regional Talent For Turnaround Leadership Academy

States and districts are faced with the challenge of attracting and retaining the talent they need for low-performing schools to make rapid and sustained progress. Of particular concern to state and district leaders participating in the Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) is teacher and leader attrition in their high need schools. Identified root causes include poor working conditions, student behavior, insufficient support for teachers and leaders in their first three years, and lack of teacher leadership and advancement.

The T4TLA was launched in Year 5 in collaboration with the Centers for Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL), School Turnaround (CST), and the West Comprehensive Center (WCC). Resources across centers were leveraged to provide support to leadership teams from 9 states and 15 districts. Teams included State Education Agency (SEA) leaders who support educator effectiveness and school turnaround efforts and Local Education Agency (LEA) leaders who have the need and capacity for this work. Participating Regional Center staff facilitate the work of each SEA-LEA team. In addition to co-leading the national initiative, NCC supports two SEA-LEA teams: Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) with Central Falls School District and New Hampshire Department of Education (NHDOE) with Farmington School District. Each of these districts are low-performing and are focusing their efforts on their lowest performing schools.

The national T4TLA technical assistance is working to help the nine SEA-LEA teams to: 1) design and implement plans for using evidence-based strategies to address identified gaps in the talent pipeline for low-performing schools in represented district(s), 2) collect and analyze formative and summative data to determine the effectiveness of implementation and then improve their strategies to attract, support, and retain excellent educators in the highest need schools, 3) use knowledge gained from T4TLA to inform policy and practice at the LEA and SEA levels, and 4) SEAs will improve capacity to support district-level implementation of T4TLA strategies by effectively leveraging technical assistance supports and resources.

Through implementation of the New Hampshire SEA-LEA Team plan: 5) district and building leaders will have demonstrated growth in the use of turnaround competencies 6) instructional teams will have showed improved leadership capacity to support effective practice. Through implementation of the Rhode Island SEA-LEA Team plan: 7) district and building leaders will have developed knowledge and skills needed to implement the district’s Collaborative Leadership model designed to improve leaders and teacher retention, and 8) a Tiered Induction and Mentoring system that leads to improved teacher retention.

Progress to Date

  • NCC meets regularly with the T4TLA planning team to assess needs and design responsive technical assistance. Work completed in Year 6 includes: identifying priority needs of the Cohort and designing a technical assistance plan to support teams in meeting common challenges. As a result, GTL and CST designed an Induction and Mentoring coordinated technical assistance plan. SEA-LEA teams received a Self-Assessment to complete in order to provide the Planning Committee with information which will inform the design of face-to-face and virtual support. The team also completed a Communications plan and is moving forward with three strategies: a T4TLA quarterly newsletter to highlight SEA-LEA accomplishments and provide updates and activities and resources; an infographic that will show how T4TLA is assisting SEA-LEA teams to make progress in implementing their talent strategies; and case vignettes that will document the work of SEA-LEA teams.
  • Support to the SEA-LEA teams include: Collaborating with RIDE to plan and lead all work sessions of the RIDE-Central Falls team. As a result of these meetings, the team has a strategic plan to design and implement a Mentoring and Induction program for new teachers and a Collaborative Leadership Academy for administrators and other leaders to build leadership capacity beyond positional leadership. Recent accomplishments include: 1) developing a graphic that maps the Mentor and Induction training over the course of the year, aligned with related professional learning initiatives including PLCs in order to ensure integration and to support learning; 2) a document describing the roles and responsibilities for mentors, mentees, and administrators; and 3) plans for meeting with union leadership to build support for the Mentoring and Induction initiative.

Research, Resources and Collaborations

The NCC collaborates with the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders, the Center on School Turnaround, and the West Comprehensive Center to design and provide strategic support to SEA-LEA teams in attracting, supporting, and retaining educator talent in high need, low-performing schools. Centers operate a GroupSite in which participant information, research articles, resources and tools, and plans from the SEA-LEA teams are shared and updated.

Contact Person

For more information, contact Carol Keirstead at or Kathy Dunne at

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