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Research-to-Practice Bridge Event

Grow Your Own Program, From State Education Agency to School District to Student Outcomes

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Archived Resources

Webinar recordings

Overview of Grow Your Own (GYO) Programs

Texas Education Agency (TEA) GYO Program

Federal Support for TEA GYO Program

Local GYO Programs

Join us for a free webinar to learn how states and districts develop and implement Grow Your Own programs to diversify their teacher workforce and address local staffing needs.

The COVID-19 crisis has only worsened long-standing teacher recruitment and retention issues in the United States, with even more teachers choosing to retire or leave the profession. These exits threaten students’ abilities to learn from qualified educators and further exacerbate demographic dissimilarities among students, who are increasingly diverse, and among teachers, who are overwhelmingly White and female.

To address a teacher workforce that does not reflect the demographics of its students, states are helping school districts develop Grow Your Own (GYO) programs to recruit and train future teachers from their own communities. The Biden Administration’s American Families Plan calls for nearly $3 billion for GYO and paid teacher residency programs that are more likely to enroll candidates of color, exemplifying the level of national interest in these types of programs.

In this webinar, Elizabeth Barkowski, a REL Southwest senior researcher, will present an overview of GYO programs, the needs such programs are designed to address, and national GYO trends. The discussion will feature on-the-ground GYO implementation from three districts: Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) and Crosbyton CISD in Texas and Hamilton County Schools in Tennessee. In addition, Ronald Coleman, educator recruitment and development specialist at the Texas Education Agency, will describe the agency’s GYO grant program. Participants also will hear about the Texas Education Agency’s data-driven approach to program development and how, with support from REL Southwest and the Region 14 Comprehensive Center, the approach is helping to develop a research-based framework to guide districts in designing and implementing GYO programs.

Speakers and panelists:

  • Elizabeth Barkowski, PhD, Senior Researcher, REL Southwest
  • Ronald Coleman, Educator Recruitment and Development Specialist, Texas Education Agency
  • Darcy Pietryka, Senior Capacity Builder, Region 14 Comprehensive Center/Westat
  • Lisa Lachlan, EdD, Principal Research Scientist, American Institutes for Research
  • Shawn Mason, Crosbyton CISD, Texas
  • Lisa Steele and Jade Cox, Goose Creek CISD, Texas
  • Jesse Gray, Hamilton County Schools, Tennessee

Who will benefit: This webinar is designed for a broad national audience of state education agency staff, district administrators, principals and researchers. Principals, and teachers and educators also may be interested in this topic.

Lacy Wood