Around Osceola
Osceola News-Gazette

Follow Us On:

National non-profit honors Osceola schools

Posted on Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 6:10 pm

By Ken Jackson

Staff Writer

The Osceola School District was among only 12 districts nationwide honored in the National Council on Teacher Quality’s (NCTQ) first-ever Great Districts for Great Teachers initiative.

The NCTQ, a national leader on teacher issues, named the Osceola School District an honorable mention for professional support, joining Newark, N.J. and Indianapolis school systems and Duval County (Jacksonville) Public School.

“It was determined that the data collected proved that the Osceola School District is a national leader in developing and caring for great teachers, so that they, in turn, can deliver great instruction to their students,” said an NCTQ release following the announcement.

Osceola Superintendent Debra Pace said being identified as one of these districts demonstrates its commitment to support teachers so they can better serve students.

“It goes back to our strategic plan,” she said. “We want to recruit, retain, develop the best people to meet the needs of our students. This also helps the community see the best work our teachers are doing and how the district is supporting that work. We’re capitalizing on our best practices; let’s pull the best ideas from the best in the country.”

“Great Districts for Great Teachers is a celebration of great teaching,” said Kate Walsh, president of NCTQ. “We celebrate the hard, often politically challenging efforts by a special group of school districts who have managed to put together policies and practices that make them great places for great teachers to work.

“We first conceived the Great Districts for Great Teachers initiative over a year ago as a way to celebrate the good work on the part of so many school districts,”

NCTQ said it developed its criteria for these honors based on over a decade of analyzing district human capital policies and practices, input from teachers and other education leaders.

Among the key areas districts were judged on, and the Osceola District was especially notices for its professional development that allows time for teachers to meet with their peers and share the best ideas so they can spread from school to school, Pace said.

Some of the NCTQ’s criteria for scoring included salaries that provide a good standard of living, the district rewards excellence in multiple ways, professional development and coaching are tailored to teachers’ needs and include sufficient collaborative planning time, schools that are efficiently with evidence that the district allows them to make decisions in their own best interest, teachers offered opportunities to tackle leadership roles and districts that offer vital support that enables great teachers to meet the needs of their students.

NCTQ organized the Great Districts for Great Teachers initiative “because it believes supporting and aiding great teachers is the best way to shape a better future for all students.”

Sponsors of this initiative include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation.