Improving student learning outcomes consistently tops the priority list for K-12 districts especially as policy changes, like those enacted by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) (2015), have linked school accountability to public funding and student achievement. The obvious strategy used by districts striving to meet this goal is to invest in the professional growth of classroom teachers, who are in direct contact with students, and who through effective instructional practices can increase learning.
Though it may be less evident, a strategy targeting the holistic management of human capital, or the “knowledge, skills, abilities, and other talents” (Boon, Eckardt, Lepak, & Boselie, 2018, p. 34) that workers possess, may also yield strong positive effects. Adopting a strategic human capital management (HCM) approach in which districts identify the human capital resources needed to meet their goals and then work to attract, acquire, grow, and retain them may add even greater value and lead to positive outcomes like increased learning gains.
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