You’ll Never Be Better Than Your Teachers: The Garden Grove Approach to Human Capital Development

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September, 2013

Teachers matter. Educators, policymakers, and the general public alike agree that great teachers are vital to a thriving K-12 education system, yet the pathways to assembling a high quality teaching force remain elusive. This case study of Garden Grove Unified School District (GGUSD), winner of the 2004 Broad Prize for Urban Education, demonstrates what a comprehensive approach to maximizing teacher quality can look like in practice. The report examines the strategies behind the district’s two key levers for improvement: (1) getting the best teachers and (2) building the capacity of the teachers it has. The story of Garden Grove is less about what it does, however, than how the district approaches its work. The report therefore explores the district culture and commitment to continuous improvement that produce effective practices of human capital development and enable these practices to achieve success. For more information about GGUSD, please visit the Meeting 15 page.