New Arizona Chamber Foundation paper recommends using lessons learned in supply chain management to address teacher shortage

PHOENIX (November 1, 2016) —The Arizona Chamber Foundation, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, and A for Arizona today released a case study proposing a new approach to addressing the teacher shortage in Arizona. The case study, titled, “Teacher Talent Pipelines: Streamlining the Path from Student to Educator in Arizona,” proposes using lessons learned in supply chain management to develop a sustainable number of qualified teachers for the schools most in need. 

“Ensuring that Arizona classrooms are led by talented, well qualified teachers is a major component of Arizona’s K-12 and overall economic development strategy,” Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry President and CEO Glenn Hamer said. “That’s why it is so important that we better understand how to retain our best and brightest teachers and attract new ones into the profession, including adopting lessons from other industries.”

The case study proposes the following recommendations to improve teacher readiness: 

1.     Schools should come together in groups to define collective demand for talent and define skills needed from candidates. 

2.     Analyze current ways of sourcing teacher talent.

3.     Build and incentivize relationships with top talent providers.

1.   As a result of the work on this case study, a cohort of Arizona’s highest achieving, high poverty schools will form “employer collaboratives,” beginning in the Phoenix urban core, to work with each other and alongside talent providers to inform, support and be recipients of an improved pipeline of ready teachers.

The school leaders from these high performing schools have early agreement from the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University—one of America’s largest teacher preparation programs—to partner together to improve the readiness of all teachers to better support students who live in poverty or who, for a variety of reasons, start their school year behind.

This is a first-of-its-kind effort where the most successful schools will engage preparation partners on their proven strategies to close the achievement gap and take those lessons to scale. By beginning with ASU’s teacher preparation program, the collaborative has the opportunity to rapidly spread what works and to increase the number of prepared teachers at schools in the urban corridor.

“We expect this employer collaborative, driven by Arizona’s proven principals and teachers, to change the game by reducing the exodus of frustrated new teachers and improving outcomes for more kids,” A for Arizona Executive Director Lisa Graham Keegan said.

“We are excited to be the first to work with the employer collaborative on this promising approach to fulfilling Arizona’s need for well-prepared educators who stay in the profession and serve high-need communities,” said Carole Basile, dean of ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. “This is the kind of creative, ambitious initiative that’s right in our wheelhouse. Our approach is based on co-creating next practices in teacher preparation with hundreds of K-12 schools.”

This case study is the latest work of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s broader workforce development initiative, Talent Pipeline Management, which is an employer-led program focused on closing the skills gap by using lessons learned from innovations in supply chain management.

The case study is available here.



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The Arizona Chamber Foundation is a non-partisan, objective educational and research foundation. The Foundation produces research studies on Arizona public policy issues such as the state budget and taxation, education, health care, regulation, energy, and others in an effort to inform policy makers, business leaders, and the general public. ?

?A for Arizona exists to support and expand the number of our best A-quality leaders, educators, and public school models, especially those who serve primarily low-income students. The program is a project of the Arizona Chamber Foundation, in partnership with the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. For additional information on A for Arizona or how you can support its efforts, please visit

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness. We educate the public on the conditions necessary for business and communities to thrive, how business positively impacts communities, and emerging issues and creative solutions that will shape the future.