Cross-Agency Collaboration as a Lever for Strengthening the Teaching Workforce
As states across the country struggle to attract and prepare teachers to fill critical gaps in the educator workforce, the availability of one-time funds presents an unprecedented opportunity to provide affordable, high-quality pathways into the profession. Effectively leveraging one-time funds can require coordination and collaboration across multiple state and local entities – including state departments of education, credentialing authorities, higher education institutions, and school districts, among others. This session will showcase the work of a cross-agency state collaborative in California focused on bringing state leaders together to identify and overcome implementation barriers to ensuring that teachers have access to affordable high-quality, clinically rich pathways into the profession, with a particular focus on increasing the number of teachers serving early childhood and multi-language learners.
Melissa Eiler White is a Director with WestEd’s Improvement Science team, where she leads research, evaluation, and technical assistance projects focused on teachers and teaching. Over the last several years, her work has focused on large, systemwide efforts to strengthen pathways into the teaching profession. White has also led numerous research efforts for the Regional Educational Laboratory West (REL West) at WestEd. Her REL West research projects have focused on the teacher and principal labor market in California, as well as systems of teacher evaluation. While at the Graduate School of Education at Stanford, she worked on research and evaluation projects focused on teacher preparation. She also conducted research on teacher learning and leadership at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning. White received a BA in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MA in policy analysis and evaluation and a PhD in administration and policy analysis from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education.
Alyssa Perez supports the Strategic Resource Planning and Implementation team in performing research and providing technical assistance to state, regional, and district-level agencies. She focused on leveraging systems of accountability, resource allocation, and policy to generate more equitable outcomes for students and their communities. Prior to joining WestEd, Alyssa worked as a Research Assistant for the Goldman School of Public Policy’s Berkeley Institute for Young Americans studying variations in generational values, voting behaviors, and experiences of socio-economic risk following federal responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, she served as Research Assistant through an initiative between the Berkeley Opportunity Lab and the Energy Institute at Haas. Alyssa received a BA in both Political Economy and Gender Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.