Board Approves Resolution Supporting Teaching Fellows

The Guilford County Board of Education approved a resolution in support of restoring the North Carolina Teaching Fellows program, a recruitment program for high school graduates interested in becoming teachers in the state's public schools.

According to the resolution, Teaching Fellows make significant contributions to school districts across the state as master teachers and serve as leaders in their schools and communities.

Guilford County Schools (GCS) has experienced the benefits of the Teaching Fellows program in both recruiting high-quality teachers and providing scholarships for its graduates. Annually, Teaching Fellows are among the teachers the district hires for licensed positions. There are currently 240 Teaching Fellows employed by the district. Additionally, GCS graduating classes include students who receive $26,000 Teaching Fellows scholarships in exchange for agreeing to teach for four years in public schools in North Carolina. The district's graduating class of 2011 included 28 Teaching Fellows recipients, the second-highest total among school districts across the state.

According to research by the Carolina Institute for Public Policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill cited in the resolution, Teaching Fellows have higher SAT scores than other groups of teachers and score higher on Praxis ll licensure exams. Teaching Fellows are also much less likely to leave their jobs in public schools during their first three years of teaching and tend to stay longer after a five-year period.

In 2010-11, 4,000 graduates from the Teaching Fellows program were teaching in 99 of North Carolina's 100 counties in rural, urban, low performing, high performing, rich and poor districts.