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ECS TQ Update

December - January 2004

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TQ Update Archives


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

Teaching Quality Policy Center News
Next spring, ECS and Learning Points Associates will be re-releasing and slightly revising the classic publication, "PRISONERS OF TIME." Milton Goldberg and Christopher Cross, who were key contributors to the original report, are both involved in the revision. The work is being conducted through a grant from the Washington Mutual Foundation to explore how revisions in the school day schedule can benefit hard-to-staff schools.

Charles Coble, ECS vice president for policy studies and programs and executive director of the ECS Teaching Quality Policy Center recently gave a presentation on ALTERNATIVE TEACHER CERTIFICATION. Among other recommendations, Coble said states should not be giving new, alternatively prepared teachers the toughest job assignments.
Coble also recently gave a presentation on ECS' work to improve CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION.

Michael Allen, program director at the ECS Teaching Quality Policy Center, offered comments at a National Research Council Center for Education meeting that addressed the need for further RESEARCH RELATED TO TEACHING QUALITY.

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Related ECS Activities
The ECS CENTER FOR COMMUNITY COLLEGE POLICY is completing work on four policy briefs addressing:

  • Transfer and articulation
  • Paraprofessional education
  • Baccalaureate degrees at community colleges
  • Alternative teacher certification.

These policy briefs will be available January 1.

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What States Are Doing

The GEORGIA Governor's Office of Student Achievement has released its 2002-03 school system report cards. For the first time, all data is disaggregated by race, economic status and other categories.

The ALABAMA Department of Education has approved a standardized test that teachers can voluntarily take to be considered highly qualified, under the federal No Child Left Behind mandates. Prior to the test, teachers were required to complete a certain amount of college courses in the subject they taught.

Since October of this year, the TEXAS State Board for Educator Certification has been requiring all first-time applicants for an initial credential to be fingerprinted as part of a national criminal background check. Recently the Texas board proposed the creation of a temporary certificate that would allow an uncertified individual to teach if they hold at least a bachelor's degree and pass an exam. After a two-year period an individual could be issued a standard certificate.

Lawmakers in MARYLAND are poised to toughen state policies that allow retired teachers to return to the classroom without affecting their post-retirement earnings. A General Assembly committee will consider recommendations to require reemployed teachers to work in schools that are performing poorly and to teach critical subjects such as science and math.,0,7697835.story?coll=bal-home-headlines

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Good Reads
The National Council on Teacher Retirement recently surveyed 70 of its members -- of which 43 responded -- regarding interstate teacher reciprocity, including the use of PENSION RECIPROCITY. The report also looks at model legislation in Louisiana, Missouri, New York and Rhode Island.

A new report from the Council of Chief State School Officers looks at survey data from the year 2000 on middle level and high school TEACHER QUALIFICATIONS to get an idea of how far states still must go to ensure their core subject-area teachers are highly qualified by 2005-06.

In a recent speech, Dan Fallon of the Carnegie Corporation examined TEACHING QUALITY and its impact on student achievement. Read the full text of his speech and participate in an online conversation on teaching quality.

Across the country, RURAL TEACHERS ARE PAID LESS than teachers in other locales, according to a policy brief from The Rural School and Community Trust. The brief finds that, although some exceptions exist, the trend of offering a lower salary to rural teachers is found in every region of the country.

The work of INTERDISCIPLINARY TEACHING TEAMS can be complex and difficult, an article from the Wisconsin Center for Education Research argues. Nevertheless, the article finds that such teams offer an alternative model for school governance that may be key to a school's capacity to make instructional changes needed to improve student learning.

Although California's TEACHER SUPPLY is increasing, significant shortages remain in key geographic, subject-matter and special-program areas, according to a new Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning report. In addition, the least- prepared teachers continue to be unfairly distributed among low-achieving schools serving poor, minority and English language learners.

A report from the Education Testing Service identifies 14 factors that research shows contribute to the ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT GAP among different groups of students. Some of the identified factors include: teacher preparation, teacher experience, class size, availability of technology-assisted instruction, student mobility and parent participation.

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Other Useful Web Sites
The ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT Web site provides a number of interesting reports and international education comparisons.,2686,en_2649_37455_1_1_1_1_37455,00.html

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International Focus
School-based teacher training is a sound monetary investment, and there is evidence it is improving student achievement, according to the UNITED KINGDOM'S education watchdog, the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED).,7348,1093542,00.html
The full OFSTED publication, "An Evaluation of the Training Schools Programme," also is available.,7348,1093542,00.html

The U.S. State Department EURASIAN CULTURAL EXCHANGE PROGRAM funds and supports exchange and training programs for professionals, including teachers, conducted by American organizations and universities.
In a recent article, two California teachers describe the experiences they gained through this program.
U.S. State Department, exchange program, grants

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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.

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