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Florida Times Union

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A recent article in the Florida Times Union addressed the important issue of teacher retention in Duval County Public Schools but drew some surprising conclusions about our role in this profession-wide challenge and our relationship with DCPS.

TFA teachers are more likely than others to stay in the classroom during their first two years and we're committed to ensuring that more of our teachers feel supported to pursue long-term careers in the classroom. The reporter suggests that we're driving broader retention issues despite being 2 percent of the DCPS teaching force, and mischaracterizes the value of alumni in education in Jacksonville. Today, 86% of our alumni work in education and we're continuously working to expand our partnerships with schools and the district to provide continued mentorship, networking opportunities, and professional development to support our alumni educators.

Superintendent Vitti has repeatedly shared the long-term value he sees in a TFA partnership. In March of 2011, as the assistant superintendent in Miami-Dade he highlighted TFA as a key strategy for finding great teachers and long-term leadership. Last year he spoke to the talent and leadership TFA corps members and alumni bring to DCPS and just last month shared his appreciation for the diverse talent we offer his highest-need schools.

We look forward to our continued partnership with Dr. Vitti and educators across DCPS as we all work to tackle the issues at the heart of retaining more of our exceptional educators.