Honorable mentions

Over 130 districts have been considered for the Great Districts for Great Teachers initiative and although only a select few reached the bar to be named a winner, many districts are doing commendable work supporting, rewarding, and celebrating great teachers. With that in mind, we've named honorable mention districts. Read on to see policy highlights from districts that are working hard to recruit, recognize, and retain great teachers.
  • Coatesville Area School District (2019)

    Coatesville Area School District offers teachers the support and feedback they need to be great. The district's comprehensive professional development system focuses on formative teacher observations and evaluation. Observation and evaluation data is used to determine professional development and connect teachers to trained experts that can offer classroom-based demonstrations, coaching, and other supports. Teachers receive both written and oral feedback after observations, ensuring that the evaluation process is not just about a final rating, but about improving practice.
  • Duval County Public Schools (2017)

    Duval County Public Schools takes a data-driven approach to teacher support and development. The professional support offered to teachers is a standout among the finalist districts. The district's evaluation system is designed to ensure that teachers receive valuable feedback that encourages both self-reflection and real conversation between evaluator and teacher, ultimately leading to improved teacher performance. Teachers get the opportunity to meet with their evaluators after being observed to discuss strengths and weaknesses. The information and feedback from observations and evaluations is then used to inform school-based and district-wide professional development opportunities.

  • Indianapolis Public Schools (2017)

    Indianapolis Public Schools is to be commended for creating innovative teacher leadership roles and staffing structures that increase the impact of highly effective teachers. Through the district's Opportunity Culture initiative, teachers can take on leadership roles that allow them to work with other teachers while maintaining a classroom presence. These teacher leaders can earn up to $18,300 more than their base salary.

  • Newark Public Schools (2017)

    Newark Public Schools stands out as a district that has put significant thought and effort into developing an evaluation system that creates a solid foundation for meaningful summative ratings, but also recognizes the role of evaluation in providing teachers with feedback to advance their professional growth. Teachers who are identified as great through the evaluation system are then rewarded, with the most effective teachers working in high-needs subjects and schools eligible for up to $12,500 in additional compensation.

  • School District of Osceola County (2017)

    The School District of Osceola County values teacher development and provides a wide variety of professional development opportunities, including specific time for teacher collaboration and free-of-cost endorsements in key areas. In addition to instructional support, the Osceola School District focuses on making the district feel like a caring family. For example, to help teachers manage the growing cost of healthcare, the district opened its own health clinic. The district also takes advantage of chances to celebrate its great teachers through opportunities to earn more with increased effectiveness, award ceremonies, and even partnerships with the community to provide the Teacher of the Year with a new car.

  • School District of Philadelphia (2019)

    The School District of Philadelphia has put significant effort into developing a strong system of new teacher support and an emerging career pathways system for their teachers. In addition to a strong orientation and a year-long induction program for new teachers, new teachers are also supported through the Peer Assistance & Review Program, designed to support and guide teachers in their first year of teaching through peer coaching. The district has also undertaken the difficult but much-needed work of developing teacher leadership roles that still allow teachers to remain in the classroom. Teachers who take on these roles are provided with the development and support they need to be successful.