contact staff ecs twitter facebook
ECS TQ Update

December - January 2005

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.

New Center Publications
A new ECS research report examines "Teachers' Perceptions of the Work Environment in Hard-to-Staff Schools." Michael Allen and Charles Coble of ECS and Elizabeth Glennie of the Center for Child and Family Policy at the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University, used state and federal data to compare 272 "HARD-TO-STAFF" SCHOOLS in North Carolina with other schools in the state. They looked at a number of student factors, including race, poverty, school achievement and teacher perceptions of the working environment.

At the November 15 Center on Education Policy Forum on how to improve the No Child Left Behind Act, ECS Vice President Charles Coble presented a new ECS issue brief, "NCLB and HIGHLY QUALIFIED TEACHERS: Where We Have Been and Need To Be." The brief, co-authored by Coble and ECS Researcher Jennifer Azordegan, links ECS research in two critical areas of NCLB -- teaching quality and teacher working conditions in hard-to-staff schools. The paper offers recommendations on how to more effectively administer and implement NCLB, and proposes efforts to help teachers in hard-to-staff schools reach the law's requirements. To see the presentation click below

On October 5, ECS President Ted Sanders was a primary presenter at a U.S. Department of Education-sponsored conference on Teacher Preparation and Institutions of Higher Education: MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCE CONTENT KNOWLEDGE. His paper, "No Time To Waste," focuses on what increasingly is seen as the major stumbling block to fundamental and lasting change in science and mathematics education –- the quantity, quality and classroom practices of science and mathematics teachers -– and what higher education leaders can and must do to address it.

Back to top.

Related ECS Activities
A collection of essays on EDUCATION GOVERNANCE, co-published by ECS and the Brookings Institution, examines who should be responsible for American schools and the consequences these decisions have for the nation's children. In "Who's in Charge Here?" some of the finest minds in education analyze key issues such as the Constitution's role in allocating responsibility for education, the pros and cons of growing federal control, how to ensure a supply of talented teachers for the underprivileged, the impact of the school-choice movement and schools' expanding nonacademic role.

Back to top.

What States Are Doing
KENTUCKY'S Department of Public Instruction Officials in charge of the alternative routes to teaching say they are vital to easing the state's teacher shortage, increasing diversity and helping school districts meet federal requirements of having a skilled teacher in every classroom by the end of the 2005-06 school year. In the past six years, more than 1,400 people have taken one of Kentucky's six alternative paths to teaching, nearly half of those last year, according to the latest state data available.

Back to top.

Good Reads
The National Collaborative on Diversity in the Teaching Force has released a report that finds, among other things, that increasing the percentage of MINORITY TEACHERS narrows the student achievement gap. The report concluded more needs to be done to recruit and retain minority and "culturally competent" teachers. In addition, ECS staff provided substantial research for this report.

For additional information on TEACHER RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION, see ECS' state policy database for all 50 states, the District of Columbia and four U.S. territories.

A National Education Association survey shows the number of MALE PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS now stands at a 40-year low. After two decades of decline, just 21% of the nation's three million teachers are men. Male elementary school teachers are even scarcer. "Status of the American Public School Teacher" says the percentage of male elementary teachers has fallen from an all-time high of 18% in 1981 to an all-time low of 9% today. And while men represented half of secondary teachers in 1986, today they make up 35%.

Students of NATIONAL BOARD CERTIFIED TEACHERS (NBCTs) did measurably better than other 9th and 10th graders on year-end math tests in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, according to a study of more than 100,000 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test records. All else being equal -- student characteristics, school environment and teacher preparation -- math teachers who had achieved National Board certification helped their students achieve larger testing gains than did colleagues without that certification. The study found NBCTs are particularly effective with students who have special needs and that black and Hispanic students also may receive extra benefits.

SCHOOL STAFFING PROBLEMS are not primarily due to teacher shortages, that is, an insufficient supply of qualified teachers, says a new report from the Center on American Progress. Rather, data indicate staffing problems are primarily due to large numbers of qualified teachers leaving their jobs long before retirement. For high-poverty public schools, especially those in urban communities, this is a particularly acute problem. If schools want to ensure all students are taught by qualified teachers, as No Child Left Behind mandates, they must be concerned about low teacher retention rates, the report says.

A new U.S. Department of Education report offers guidance on the elements of PROMISING ALTERNATIVE ROUTE PROBLEMS and identifies concrete, real-world examples of innovations in six alternative routes to teacher certification.

Back to top.

Other Useful Web Sites
Google Inc. has unveiled a FREE SERVICE for academic researchers. Google Scholar allows Web surfers to search through dissertations, peer-reviewed papers and other scholarly literature.

The Education Counts database contains more than 250 state-level K-12 EDUCATION INDICATORS, many spanning multiple years. Included are data collected for Education Week's annual reports, “Quality Counts" and “Technology Counts." Users can create custom tables, graphs or maps of any chosen indicator.

The KNOWLEDGE MEDIA LABORATORY of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, as well as individual faculty associated with Carnegie programs, have created a Web site that provides examples of ways faculty can make ideas, insights and knowledge generated in the course of teaching available so others can build upon them.

Back to top.

International Focus
UNESCO's Education for All by 2015 Web site offers numerous publications on the CONDITION OF EDUCATION across the globe.

The International Bureau of Education's Web site provides a comprehensive list of NATIONAL EDUCATION REPORTS from around the globe, including Afghanistan, Finland, Germany and Japan.

In November, two recipients of the 2004 Goldman Sachs Foundation Prizes for EXCELLENCE IN INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION were chosen because of their work preparing and supporting teachers in the area of international education. Michigan State University was highlighted for its emphasis on providing international learning opportunities for students preparing to be teachers. The state of Wisconsin was honored as the first state in the nation to create a professional development initiative to help teachers integrate international content in all major subject areas.

For recommendations on how to support TEACHERS' INTERNATIONAL CONTENT KNOWLEDGE through preparation and professional development, check out check out

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