The Urban Schools Human Capital Academy supports districts and states on issues such as:
•Recruitment and Selection
•Staffing and Deployment
•Performance Management
•Career Management
Contact us to join the Academy or learn more about our services.

Operating as usual

The ups and downs of Dallas’s pay-for-performance roller coaster 10/27/2023

Learn about the Accelerating Campus Excellence (ACE) program in the Dallas Independent School District. 💡 Launched in 2016, ACE offered salary stipends to effective teachers and principals to lead the lowest-performing schools. Results were staggering - immediate achievement boosts, but with twists and turns.

✅ Math scores soared by over 0.4 standard deviations.
✅ Reading scores climbed by 0.3 standard deviations.
✅ ACE schools reached the district average, while control groups barely budged.
✅ Longer exposure to ACE schooling meant better outcomes for students.

But here's the plot twist: As ACE schools saw tremendous success, they no longer qualified for the program by 2019, resulting in a sharp decline in achievement. The departure of high-performing teachers and a reversion to the status quo left students on a reform carousel.

Check out the full article here:

The ups and downs of Dallas’s pay-for-performance roller coaster History and research make clear that, often, the most disruptive interventions in low-performing schools are those


Educator workforces are a diverse tapestry of factors such as experience, effectiveness, diversity, cultural competence, mindset, attendance, and collaboration. 🌟 These elements set the stage for high-quality instruction, the application of feedback, and a thriving school culture.

But here's the twist: Principals wear multiple hats. They're not just educators; they're also the HR team's most vital partners and the frontline managers of human capital for the district. 🤝

To supercharge their impact, principals rely on districts to:

1️⃣ Offer Effective & Tailored Staffing Strategies: Strategies that simplify recruitment, boost retention, and ensure that high-need schools get equitable access to top-notch educators.

2️⃣ Deliver Streamlined Services: Services that save time and simplify the daily lives of principals.

3️⃣ Provide Quality Resources: Pools, tools, and resources that empower principals to excel in their roles.

4️⃣ Facilitate Personalized Learning: Opportunities for principals to grow as human capital leaders.

Together, let's empower principals and ensure our schools thrive! 📚💪

Why teachers leave: It isn’t what you think - 10/23/2023


This article by Kappan, uncovers the real reasons behind teacher attrition. It's not what you think! 🤯

Teachers' dedication, care, and desire to make a difference are at the heart of the matter. They want to do more for their students, but obstacles get in the way. Find out how addressing this "problem of abundance" can help retain our best educators.

Ready to dive deeper into the insights? Click to read the full article --

Why teachers leave: It isn’t what you think - A survey of teachers reveals a surprising reason teachers consider leaving the profession and what school leaders can do to help.

Photos from USHCA's post 10/20/2023

The USHCA Academy wrapped this week, and 3 themes that shape our mission for a diverse and effective workforce were a main focus of our time together. Those themes included:

🔵 1: Investing in Principals as Human Capital Leaders
In today's ever-changing educational landscape, principals are our foundation. We're dedicated to empowering them with innovative strategies and best practices to lead effectively, even in resource-challenged environments.

🟢 2: Differentiating Talent Strategies for Highest Needs Schools & Principals
High Needs Schools face unique obstacles, and it's our responsibility to address them head-on. Join us to share insights and solutions, ensuring these schools can attract top-tier educators.

🟣 3: Growing Our Own Leadership Skills
As HR & Talent leaders, our journey never stops. Education's dynamic nature demands growth. Let's explore personal and professional development opportunities, strengthen support networks, and build vibrant communities.

Learn more about how we can help your HR team by leveraging these crucial key themes - -

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Photos from USHCA's post 10/18/2023

As we wrap up the final day of our Academy Convening in Chicago today, one of the many workshops we held centered on POP, the Problem of Practice Consultancy Protocol – your key to professional growth and development! 💡🤝

School districts can empower their teams to define and refine their challenges with this game-changing protocol. 🌟

Check out our POP resource on --

Our HRinEd website is a treasure trove of resources. Dive in and equip your HR teams to thrive! 🚀📊

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Get ready to meet David Donaldson at our Academy Convening in Chicago this week, where he'll be leading engaging sessions on Teacher and Principal Apprenticeships. 🍎📚

David Donaldson is the Founder & Managing Partner of the National Center for Grow Your Own. He's been instrumental in supporting states and districts to launch or expand "Grow Your Own" programs and registered apprenticeships in teaching, so an aspiring educator can become a teacher for free and get paid to do so!

In the meantime, check out his latest webinar on "EPP Innovation: How High-Quality and Low-Cost Preparation Pathways are Possible." -->

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🌟 Exciting News! 🌟

The USHCA Academy Convening week is here! To those joining us this week in Chicago we are excited to see you.

We are also thrilled to welcome Lauren Dachille, Founder & CEO of Nimble, as a speaker! 🎤🌐

Nimble is revolutionizing education hiring with cutting-edge research and real-time recommendations for hiring managers, boosting teacher performance and retention while reducing bias. 📈🙌

For those attending, she is facilitating sessions on "Curating Data for Smart Hiring Decisions" 📊🧠 and "Differentiating Recruitment Strategies for Your High-Needs Schools." You won't want to miss the knowledge and insights she's bringing to the table! 🤩

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Photos from USHCA's post 10/11/2023

🍎📚 New Blog Alert! 📚🍎

We are now one maybe two months for some, into the new school year, as we navigate a post-pandemic world, our school districts are embracing a wave of new teachers. Empowering them is now more critical than ever! 🌟

Check out our latest blog by our incredible CEO, Elizabeth (Betsy) Arons, on 10 powerful strategies for supporting new teachers. From mentorship programs to flexible certification processes, these insights are a game-changer for classroom success. 🏫

Read the full blog post and help empower the educators of tomorrow -


A decade ago, the National Council on Teacher Quality shared a report on an issue that remains unchanged. Principals have limited control over teacher staffing in schools, with HR departments calling the shots. 🏫💼

🤔 Despite claims of principal involvement, the reality is different. Principal authority depends on numerous "ifs," leaving them with little say in the matter.

🔄 Even today, the debate continues, with ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) reauthorization proposals adding more layers to the issue. The push for equitable teacher distribution within districts could further challenge principal autonomy.

📝 Check out this eye-opening report from a decade ago that still resonates today, exploring the barriers and offering insights into how we can empower principals in staffing decisions. Read more:

Pa. principals are quitting in record numbers, and I know why | Opinion 10/04/2023

Philadelphia's public school principals hold the keys to transformation in our communities. In a compelling article by the renowned educator, Sharif El-Mekki, he sheds light on the vital role principals play and the need for investment in their development.

"Too many people grossly underestimate the impact a school leader has on their community. The principal sets the tone and ethos of the school; you can tell the difference between a place that’s helmed by a fierce, determined, loving leader vs. one run by someone who is floundering or phoning it in. The teachers feel it. The students feel it. Unfortunately, our nation’s public schools have too often treated the development and support of their school leaders as an afterthought. We’re seeing the effects of that now. A new analysis by Penn State found that Pennsylvania principals are leaving schools at higher-than-ever rates; more than 15% quit within one year."

A few key takeaways:

🤝 Principals shape the ethos of a school.
🌱 Professional development for principals is essential.
🔑 Mentorship and coaching can be transformative.

Join us in recognizing the incredible impact school leaders have and the potential for positive change when we invest in their growth. Let's make school leadership development a priority, not a "nice to have."

Read the full article here:

Pa. principals are quitting in record numbers, and I know why | Opinion Principals are leaving our schools at record numbers. To reverse this dangerous trend, we need to offer them more opportunities for mentorship and professional development.


The USHCA Fall Academy on Oct 16-18 is officially SOLD OUT! 🎉

We are overwhelmed by the incredible interest and can't wait to welcome our attendees for a deep dive into Key Questions shaping HR's role in education. 🔑📚

🤔 Curious about what we'll be exploring?

1️⃣ How can HR provide exceptional service to Principals, even during challenging times with limited resources?
2️⃣ What strategies can HR employ to tailor talent support for High Needs School Principals, ensuring equal access to effective staff for all students?
3️⃣ What leadership qualities will HR professionals need to navigate the current and future challenges in education?

Don't fret if you missed out! 📋 You can still join our waitlist and stay connected. Express your interest now, and we'll be in touch soon! 💬 Let's continue the conversation.


USHCA Monthly Newsletter! 📰

Elevate your journey as a human capital leader within your school system with our exclusive content. 🚀 Dive into a treasure trove of insights including tips, programming updates, thought-provoking blog posts, articles, and valuable resources. Each piece carefully curated to empower you on your path to success.

🌟 Our unwavering commitment is to equip you with essential tools and unwavering support, driving growth and progress within your HR teams. Consider this your monthly dose of engagement, elevation, and empowerment!

Ready to embark on this enriching journey? 🚀 Sign up now to stay informed, inspired, and equipped for the road ahead!

🔗 Sign up here:

Photos from USHCA's post 09/20/2023


We are thrilled that we've had such an incredible response to our Fall Academy this year. Here is a little tease of what we are going to be covering over the three days.

Day 1: Monday, October 16, 2023
Optional Academy Fundamentals & 1:1 Coaching*
Networking Reception
Welcome & Dinner

Day 2: Tuesday, October 17, 2023
Principals' Experiences with HR & Principal's Bill of Rights Tool
Low/No-Cost Strategies for Principals
Differentiating Talent Supports to High-Needs School Principals
Problems of Practice (POP) Breakouts
Summary and Closing

Day 3: Wednesday, October 18, 2023
Preparing Your Team & District for the Year Ahead
Team Planning
Summary and Closing

Didn't get a chance to sign up? Join our waitlist. Eager to work with us now? Submit a contact form and we'd be be happy to connect to learn more about your school districts needs-->

We're delighted to announce that this event is now SOLD OUT! However, you can still get involved with us by visiting:

Photos from USHCA's post 09/18/2023

🔍 Discover Our Tailored Services at USHCA! 🌟

At times, school districts require specialized support that goes beyond the norm. That's where we step in! 💼 Partnering closely with district leaders, we delve deep into their unique talent needs. We craft personalized solutions, provide valuable guidance, and pinpoint key metrics for measuring success and driving improvements that elevate teacher and leader quality.

🚀 Explore a Glimpse of Our Services:
1️⃣ Human Capital Assessment & Quick Hit Recommendations
2️⃣ Redesigning Broken & Inefficient Talent Processes
3️⃣ Collective Bargaining Contract or Agreement Reviews & Strategy
4️⃣ Human Capital Data Analysis & Recommendations
5️⃣ Organizational Redesign for Human Resources Departments
6️⃣ Team Training & Retreats – Facilitation and Support
7️⃣ Strategy to Identify & Support High-Needs Schools
8️⃣ Growing Principal's Capacity as Talent Leaders
9️⃣ Targeted Trainings on Specific Issues: Teacher Absenteeism, Exiting Low-Performers, and More

Our team boasts experts across diverse domains, ensuring a comprehensive and actionable plan for driving tangible results. We're not just about solving immediate challenges; we're about empowering you for the long haul.

🔗 Curious to learn more? Let's connect and map out your journey toward success! 🗺️

Teachers Are Being Fined, Suspended for Quitting Before End of the School Year 09/15/2023

What we're reading📚

Exploring the Reality: "Teachers Are Being Fined, Suspended for Quitting Before End of the School Year"

Resigning before the school year's end can come at a steep cost—ranging from $500 to a staggering $10,000, accompanied by a suspension from work until contract expiration.

Three recent cases in Missouri highlighted the struggles faced by educators, including those who resigned due to personal reasons or the pursuit of better opportunities. And this isn't exclusive to Missouri; other states share similar policies.

What do you think - should educators face repercussions for resigning mid-year? How does this impact and interrupt students academia? Let's know in the comments below.

Dive into the full article to gain insights into this intriguing topic:

Education landscapes are ever-evolving, and understanding the complexities teachers navigate is crucial. Stay informed, and let's continue the conversation.

Teachers Are Being Fined, Suspended for Quitting Before End of the School Year In Missouri, educators who resign may have to pay $500 to $10,000 and won't be allowed to work until their contract expires. Other states do the same

Photos from USHCA's post 09/08/2023

Have you caught up with our latest blog post? 🤔 Dive into "The Other K-12 Staffing Shortage: Classified Employees" written by Susan Marks, our incredible Human Capital Partner.

While the spotlight has been on the teacher shortage and the great resignation, there's an under explored staffing challenge faced by districts. 👥 Classified employees are the unsung heroes who keep our schools running smoothly, but they're in high demand across various sectors including Amazon, local government, and telecommuting-friendly companies.

From bus drivers to security staff, food services to maintenance, and custodial teams, the gaps are real. 🚌💼 Our blog uncovers the unique recruitment strategies needed to attract and retain classified staff. It's time to celebrate their essential role and build effective solutions. 💪

Key Strategies Shared:
🏆 Elevate your district's appeal as an attractive workplace.
💰 Ensure competitive compensation packages.
🌐 Source high-quality candidates from diverse channels.
📲 Streamline the application process for mobile ease.
🌍 Provide information in multiple community languages.
📊 Analyze the labor market and address workforce gaps.
📝 Craft compelling and effective job postings.
🎉 Engage current high-performing staff as ambassadors.
🤝 Forge partnerships to expand your talent pipeline.
🛠️ Consider hiring retirees and use apprenticeship programs.

Check out the full blog here:


📢 Friendly Reminder: Don't miss out on The Academy Convening!

🗓️ Date: October 16-18
📍 Location: Chicago

⏳ Early Bird Pricing Closing Soon! Reserve your seat today! 🎟️

What is the USHCA Academy Convening?

The Academy is a fantastic two-day, in-person, team-based experience tailored to empower and support HR/Talent leaders in school systems, in driving positive change within their school systems.

Here's how The Academy will benefit you and your team:

🔍 Gain access to relevant content and tools to enhance your talent strategy and workforce quality.
🤝 Connect with a powerful network of K-12 HR & Talent professionals to collaboratively solve challenges.
⏲️ Dedicate focused time and support to identify key opportunities for growth.
📚 Learn from sector experts and innovators, bringing back valuable approaches to your system.

Join us at The Academy Convening for an enriching experience that will elevate your impact on education!

Secure your spot now before the early bird pricing ends!

👉 More info:

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USHCA Power Metrics, offer a powerful set of indicators that every HR team should track. These metrics are the reflection of HR's efforts to enhance teacher and principal quality across four critical areas:

🌟 Consistently Attracting the Best Staff:
✅ Our HR Power Metrics ensure that HR teams are adept at recruiting top-notch talent consistently. From hiring the brightest educators to fostering a diverse workforce, this metric sets the foundation for educational excellence.

🌟 Deliberate Deployment of Talent:
✅ HR teams strategically place teachers and principals where they'll flourish. By deploying talent where it matters most, we empower educators to make the greatest impact on students' lives.

🌟 Strategic Development & Retention:
✅ Our HR Power Metrics focus on nurturing and retaining the very best. From professional growth opportunities to tailored support, we ensure educators thrive and grow in their careers.

🌟 Effective HR Service Delivery:
✅ Seamless HR services are vital for optimal performance. The metrics in this area ensure that HR teams deliver timely and effective support, enabling schools to focus on their core mission of education.

Data-driven decisions pave the way for HR success! Reviewing these HR Power Metrics on a regular basis empowers us to chart the course of progress and impact improvement.

Interested in learning how to harness the power of data to create transformative change in education, one strategic metric at a time? Contact us today -->

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Jody is a seasoned professional with a diverse background in private, government, and public sectors. Her expertise ranges from traditional labor relations to progressive human capital strategies. As the Chief Human Resources Officer at the Pittsburgh School District, she led transformative initiatives in compensation, evaluation, and strategic staffing.

Now, as a Human Capital Partner at USHCA, Jody collaborates with states and school districts nationwide to attract, develop, and retain high-performing and diverse workforces. With a passion for developing leadership capacity, she works tirelessly to optimize outcomes for all students.

Jody's support is anchored in meeting teams where they are and strategically advancing their goals. Her expertise in retention practices and fostering growth-oriented cultures makes her a valuable asset at the district and state levels.

Data-driven decisions are at the core of Jody's work. With her USHCA colleagues, she focuses on equitable access to effective teachers and differentiating approaches to attract talent to high-need schools.

A consultant in human capital management, strategic leadership, and labor relations, Jody's impact extends beyond education to non-profit sectors. She shares her knowledge through seminars and courses, empowering emerging leaders in the field.

❤️ Her dedication and expertise are driving positive change in education and beyond.

capital academy

Photos from USHCA's post 08/14/2023

In the journey to transform HR practices, having the right sequence is CRUCIAL! That's where the Key Levers come into play, providing a powerful tool for HR teams to accelerate improvement and achieve exceptional results.

Assessing Strengths & Improvements:
✅ The Key Levers empower school districts to swiftly evaluate their HR practices. By identifying strengths and areas for improvement, HR teams gain clarity on their progress and areas that need attention

Guiding Planning & Engagement:
✅ Planning and stakeholder engagement are vital to HR success. With the Key Levers, HR teams are equipped with a roadmap that guides them through these essential phases.

Mastering Implementation:
✅ Taking the right steps in the right order is the recipe for success! The Key Levers outline the critical actions HR should take and the precise sequence to maximize the impact of the workforce's intentionality.

The Key Levers for Accelerated HR Improvement unleash the potential of HR teams to create lasting positive change. By implementing the deliberate levers, districts can elevate their HR practices to new heights, ultimately benefiting every member of the educational community!

Unlock the secret to HR excellence and embrace the power of Key Levers today! Let's revolutionize education together, one strategic step at a time!

Want to learn more? Head over to, - to connect with us today.

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In the realm of education, attracting and retaining exceptional teacher and principal leaders is paramount! 🌟 That's where a highly effective HR/HC department steps in, focusing on the RIGHT work to make this crucial task considerably easier for all involved.

Work that Empowers Principals:
✅ Finding and keeping exceptional teaching talent becomes a breeze when HR/HC aligns their efforts with school principals' needs. By identifying the right candidates and facilitating seamless recruitment, HR/HC becomes a driving force behind a school's success!

Work that Elevates Principal Supervisors:
✅ The success of principals relies on their support and development by capable HR/HC teams. Ensuring that top-notch principals are found and retained becomes achievable when HR/HC plays a pivotal role in the process.

Driving Strategic Progress:
✅ While teacher quality isn't solely HR/HC's responsibility, they serve as a critical engine to propel strategic work forward. By collaborating with various stakeholders, HR/HC ensures the implementation of effective strategies to enhance overall teacher quality.

Interested in learning more? Head over to and get in touch today.

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🌟 Meet Our Team🌟

Introducing Michael Moore, Human Capital Partner. With over 40 years of experience as a K-12 public school educator, Michael Moore's dedication to shaping young minds is truly unparalleled! As a teacher, high school principal, and superintendent of schools, he's left an indelible mark on the education landscape.

Since 2004, Michael has been spearheading national talent and leadership development projects, nurturing the future leaders of tomorrow. As Chief Academic Officer at New Leaders, Inc., he led the largest urban principal preparation program in the nation, training 120 leaders in 12 cities.

At USHCA since 2011, Michael has continued to make a significant impact. From improving recruitment practices in LAUSD and Seminole County to redesigning principal-supervision in Palm Beach and Aurora, his work has transformed districts nationwide.

But his influence doesn't end there! Outside of USHCA, Michael has taken on various projects, developing central office leadership pathways, designing coaching frameworks for principal-training programs, and supporting charter management organizations in achieving their strategic goals.

Michael Moore is an inspiration, empowering educators and leaders to reach new heights in education. 🌟📚

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Videos (show all)

USHCA Monthly Newsletter! 📰Elevate your journey as a human capital leader within your school system with our exclusive c...
USHCA Power Metrics, offer a powerful set of indicators that every HR team should track. These metrics are the reflectio...
Are you an #HR leader in the #K12 education sector? This event is tailor-made for you! The Academy is dedicated to helpi...



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