The evidence is clear: stronger partnerships between districts and Educator Preparation Providers (EPPs) can strengthen the teacher pipeline and improve teacher quality over time. Repeated studies have demonstrated the importance of student teaching experiences for teacher development and have mapped a pathway between placement processes, mentor effectiveness, and teachers’ initial success in the classroom. And there is growing evidence that stronger place-based partnerships can provide additional benefits that extend beyond student teachers and support the ongoing development of the broader educator workforce in a district.
Annenberg Institute researchers conducted interviews with leaders of all the Rhode Island EPPs and with the PPSD human resources team in fall 2022. These informal, semi-structured interviews were meant to identify both shared goals and key obstacles to stronger collaboration across individuals and groups. Researchers triangulated across interviews to identify key themes that emerged, highlighting barriers to developing and maintaining partnerships between EPPs and PPSD and offering recommendations to strengthen these partnerships.