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Teaching and School Leadership
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The Achievement First Approach:
Teacher Career Pathway

"The coaching sessions and regular classroom observations have enabled me to grow exponentially as a teacher. I have learned more about how to teach in the last few years at AF because of the AF Teacher Career Pathway than I did in the 15 years prior as a high school teacher."

- AF Amistad High teacher

Achievement First's Teacher Career Pathway is a systematic, coordinated approach to recognizing and developing great teachers as they progress through five career stages: intern, new teacher, teacher, distinguished teacher and master teacher. These stages were developed to celebrate excellent teachers and are accompanied by increased compensation, recognition and professional growth opportunities. The AF Teacher Career Pathway program builds off of a number of practices already in place -- lesson observation and feedback, peer feedback, parent surveys, student surveys, and analyzing student achievement data -- but brings them all together in a more systematic and coordinated way.

Research shows -- and it is clear at Achievement First -- that the effectiveness of the classroom teacher is the single most important factor supporting student achievement. Achievement First has invested over the last three years in a robust leadership pathway that provides clear career opportunities for those invested in school leadership -- and we are now excited to do the same for master teachers. We want to make sure that our excellent teachers who decide to stay in the classroom are still able to "progress" in their careers and have opportunities and recognition commensurate with their increasing effectiveness.

How will the AF Teacher Career Pathway increase student achievement?

  • By helping to set clear standards and raise the bar for instructional excellence across the network
  • By retaining talented teachers through recognition and rewards
  • By reinforcing the value Achievement First places on great teaching

Learn more about the AF Teacher Career Pathway HERE.

Achievement First is the recipient of a grant from the Teacher Incentive Fund to implement Teacher Career Pathway. Due to Connecticut's transition from the CMT and CAPT to the Smarter Balanced Assessments in 2014, we submitted waivers on behalf of Amistad Academy, Elm City College Preparatory, Achievement First Bridgeport Academy, and Achievement First Hartford Academy to assess student achievement by another means in order to comply with the grants requirements. Please contact Sharon Richards with any questions for comments.