contact staff ecs twitter facebook
ECS TQ Update

October - November 2003

TQ UPDATE is sponsored by

TQ Update Archives


Thank you to the TQ Update Sponsor

Welcome to the TQ Update, a quarterly newsletter dedicated to providing information and resources on teacher quality related issues.

Teaching Quality Policy Center News
ECS will collaborate with the North Central Regional Education Laboratory to consider the possibilities of reworking the traditional daily school schedule to better support teachers in the most challenging schools. The initiative is made possible through support from the WASHINGTON MUTUAL FOUNDATION.

Back to top.

New Center Publications
Read about three big questions educators should ask regarding No Child Left Behind and HIGHLY QUALIFIED TEACHERS:

  1. How do states define a "highly qualified" teacher?
  2. How can schools accurately report on the percentage of "highly qualified" teachers they have?
  3. What are the different levels of teacher licensure, and do these different levels assure qualified teachers are in our nation's classrooms?

  4. /clearinghouse/48/86/4886.doc

Don't forget to check out two recent ECS Teaching Quality Policy Center products, including:

“Eight Questions on Teacher Preparation: What Does the Research Say?" looks at what 92 research studies tell us about TEACHER PREPARATION.

See ECS' database providing condensed summaries of STATE TEACHER PREPARATION POLICIES, links to the policies and other relevant sources of information.

Back to top.

Upcoming Center Meetings/Events
Register for the ECS FALL STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING and join us for a reception on November 12 at the Virginia governor's mansion followed by dinner at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Back to top.

What States Are Doing
VIRGINIA Governor Mark R. Warner has announced several initiatives to improve teacher retention and recruitment, including:

  • A mentoring program for first-year teachers in hard-to-staff schools
  • A statewide job fair
  • An online job bank
  • .
Warner also proposed that up to 10 administrators be trained as "turnaround specialists" and sent into low-performing schools for a minimum of three years.

CONNECTICUT's Public Act 03-232, effective July 2003, increases the post-retirement earnings limit for re-employed, retired teachers from 45% of the entry-level salary to 45% of the maximum salary for the position. The new law also eliminates such earning limits for teachers in designated, subject-shortage areas. Re-employed retired teachers must be offered health insurance benefits, but may no longer contribute to the retirement system or accrue additional benefits during re-employment.

For additional information on other state "retire-rehire" policies, see:

The CALIFORNIA Commission on Teacher Credentialing had voted to phase out emergency teaching permits and credential waivers and to begin aligning the state's teacher certification process with a recently adopted state board of education plan and the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act.

This action, however, has now been suspended to allow the commission to collect more information about the impact on school districts and county offices of education.

MINNESOTA Governor Tim Pawlenty has announced a new initiative aimed at recruiting and retaining good teachers, including hiring "super teachers" from either traditional or nontraditional backgrounds and paying them up to $100,000 per year, including bonuses, based on their performance.

Also in MINNESOTA, the Minneapolis public schools have been awarded $6.2 million by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to improve teaching and make Minneapolis a national model for urban education.

From the loss of mentoring options, to the demise of teacher recruitment programs and unprecedented numbers of layoffs, budget cuts in many states are hitting teachers hard.

Back to top.

Good Reads
The rules for becoming a "HIGHLY QUALIFIED" teacher under the federal No Child Left Behind Act are complex. The Southern Regional Education Board recently compiled a summary of what its 16 states are doing to ensure every student is taught by a qualified teacher.

An editorial in the discusses Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty's plan to create a "SUPER TEACHER" PROGRAM at about a dozen pilot sites where classroom educators could be paid up to $100,000 for improving student achievement. The author argues that several states have had success with similar programs, but in some cases student performance did not improve.

There exists longstanding precedent and strong justification for creating a NATIONAL EDUCATION MANPOWER PROGRAM, according to a new research paper by Linda Darling-Hammond and Gary Sykes. The authors argue that such a program for the education sector should be modeled on U.S. medical manpower efforts, which have long supplied doctors to high-need communities and eased shortages in specific health fields.

Many URBAN SCHOOL DISTRICTS lose out on well-qualified applicants for vacant teaching positions due to slow hiring practices, delays in state budget timetables and teacher union seniority rules, according to a recent report by The New Teacher Project.

Timely and accurate data often are absent from state policy discussions about teacher quality, says a new paper from the State Higher Education Executive Officers. The paper examines DATA-COLLECTION SYSTEMS in 14 states and offers advice to policymakers on how such systems can be used to improve teacher recruitment and retention.

MALE TEACHERS are becoming an endangered species in the classroom and represent only 21% of all teachers, the National Education Association (NEA) finds. According to the NEA, the number of male teachers is now at a 40-year low.

Despite long hours and low pay teachers love their profession, according to a new National Education Association survey on the professional and personal lives of the nation's teachers. The TEACHER SURVEY also reports that twice as many teachers have master's degrees now as compared to the 1960s.

Critics are questioning the U.S. Department of Education's recently announced $35 million, multiyear allocation to the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence's (ABCTE) ALTERNATIVE TEACHER CREDENTIALING test that so far has enlisted only a single state -- Pennsylvania. ABCTE is likely to encounter further heat for its announcement that it also will offer a "virtual" mentoring program for novice educators.

Research suggests that the selectivity and prestige of the institution where a teacher received his or her degree has a positive effect on student achievement, particularly at the secondary level, a new study finds. The study examines the impact of a variety of TEACHER CHARACTERISTICS on student achievement.

Back to top.

Other Useful Web Sites
Policymakers and educators are increasingly turning to international comparisons to assess how well national systems of education are performing. The NATIONAL CENTER FOR EDUCATION STATISTICS' new INTERNATIONAL INDICATORS Web site provides users with comparative data on such issues as student teacher ratios and teacher salaries.

VISITING INTERNATIONAL FACULTY, a private firm, is currently the largest single sponsor of non-immigrant teachers.

Back to top.

International Focus
The United Kingdom's National Audit Office has completed an in-depth COMPARISON OF EDUCATION in the United Kingdom and nine other comparable, industrialized nations. Also presented is a concise analysis of teacher preparation and employment in the nine comparable countries.

As many as 10,000 FOREIGN TEACHERS currently work in U.S. public school systems on "non-immigrant" or cultural exchange visas. The dearth of U.S. educators in certain specialty areas and a shortage of those willing to work in urban schools is creating a growing global market for teachers.

American educators advocate to include the study of GLOBAL ISSUES in the curriculum, but do not often think to seek interaction with other educators from around the world, according to a recent Phi Delta Kappan article. The article looks at a number of networks that can help connect schools from around the world. Submit requests for copies of the article, “Global Education as A Worldwide Movement," to

Additional links to organizations that focus on global education and/or global issues are available on the INTERDEPENDENCE PRESS Web site.

Back to top.

Teaching quality is part of the Teaching Quality and Leadership Institute. The mission of the Institute is to provide resources to help state policymakers shape education policy on finding, keeping and developing highly effective teachers and education leaders.


To read more about Teaching Quality, visit the ECS Issue Site on Teaching Quality.

Home  |  About ECS  |  Education Issues A-Z  | Research Studies  |  Reports & Databases  |  State Legislation  |  State Profiles  |  Projects & Institutes  |  Newsroom  |  Website User's Guide
700 Broadway, #810 Denver, CO 80203-3442
Phone: 303.299.3600 | Fax: 303.296.8332
©2015 Education Commission of the States |
Read our privacy policy