Grow Your Own (GYO)Teacher Programs:
A Review of Program Effectiveness
This review provides descriptive summaries of six evaluation studies on the effectiveness of Grow Your Own (GYO) teacher recruitment and preparation programs. The summaries include one nation-wide assessment of GYO programs and 5 state-wide assessments. Most all GYO programs included in these evaluations are operating in rural districts and communities, and most are geared toward hard-to-staff schools and subjects. Overall, the evaluation studies suggest that, while these programs effectively improve teaching and learning, the retention of the fellows in some of the programs seems problematic.
National GYO Program Evaluation
Dadisman, Kimberly;…show more content… In addition, most of the programs in the evaluation focused on recruiting and training teachers to fill positions in high-needs areas, such as math, science, English Language Learners, and special education. The programs also recruited a variety of participants, including career changers with backgrounds in math and science; minority teachers for placement in minority schools; bilingual paraprofessionals, parents and community members; and certified teachers being recertified in special education.
In addressing the key concerns of teacher recruitment and retention, the GYO programs focus on the recruitment of community residents with roots in the local area, and focus on intensive mentoring of the program participants. Mentoring was found to be a key component of the programs with college level mentors helping program students achieve certification, and mentors in the schools helping them adjust to their new positions. By recruiting locally and focusing the teacher preparation programs on rural education, the evaluation concluded the GYO programs were highly supportive of key issues of recruitment and retention. Strong partnerships between the GYO programs and local school districts are also credited with helping both recruitment and mentoring of program students.
One weakness in many of the GYO programs was found to be the funding stream currently in place to keep the programs operating. Although the majority receive state and federal funding,