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ECS TQ Update

February - March 2003

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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
Want to know how your state is doing in meeting requirements of the NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND Act that relate to having high-quality teachers? ECS is tracking state progress on five indicators, including defining "highly qualified" teachers and having one in every classroom, testing elementary school teachers, increasing high-quality professional development and determining teachers' subject-matter competence.

As part of its interest in making EDUCATION RESEARCH more valuable to policymakers, ECS has hosted three meetings between leaders on both sides of the fence. The most recent meeting focused on the challenges of making research more responsive to state policy, efforts to address the challenges, and how policymakers and researchers can support one another. Participants also explored the possibility of implementing in the field of education a consensus decisionmaking process similar to that used by the National Institutes of Health. Here is a summary of the discussion.

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New Center Publications
What makes one national commission succeed when so many others don't? Charles Coble, executive director of the ECS Teaching Quality Policy Center, recently interviewed JAMES B. HUNT JR. and LINDA DARLING-HAMMOND, who directed the National Commission on Teaching for America's Future. Hunt and Darling-Hammond share their approaches, their experiences and the lessons they learned in making sure the commission's work to improve teaching in this country got results.

The most promising education solution to poor student achievement lies in ensuring all of our nation's students, particularly those in high-poverty and hard-to-staff schools, have better QUALIFIED TEACHERS, says Michael Allen, TQPC program director. Allen describes why supply and distribution problems and teachers' working conditions need attention.

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Upcoming Center Meetings/Events
The Teaching Quality Policy Center (TQPC) NATIONAL ADVISORY BOARD MEETING will take place March 24-25 in Denver at the ECS office. The meeting will include a discussion of current ECS teaching quality efforts, a critique of the proposed TQPC strategic plan and an opportunity for board members to share information about initiatives they're involved in.

From March 18-20, ECS will cosponsor a discussion of "CHANGING GOVERNANCE SYSTEMS To Improve Teaching Quality." Cosponsors include the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory and the Johnson Foundation in Racine, Wisconsin. For more information, contact Michael Allen at

TQPC Executive Director Charles Coble will be attending the annual LABORATORY FOR STUDENT SUCCESS (LSS) meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Teacher Project. LSS is a grant recipient in the teacher mobility initiative sponsored by ECS and the State Higher Education Executive Officers.

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What States Are Doing
A new report by Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning (MCREL), "Teacher Supply and Demand in the State of COLORADO," looks at trends in student populations, the teacher workforce, teacher qualifications and workforce attributes (salaries, attrition, new hires, supply and demand.)

"Head of the Class: A Quality Teacher in Every Classroom" examines current state policy in PENNSYLVANIA relative to teacher quality, including the expanded federal role created by No Child Left Behind and Title II of the Higher Education Act. The report is from the Education Policy and Leadership Center.

In 2001, the WASHINGTON Legislature created grants for alternative routes to teacher certification. An interim report by the Washington State Institute for Public policy looks at the following questions:
* What are alternative routes to teacher certification?

* What is the status of Washington's alternative route partnerships?

* Who are Washington's alternative route interns?

* What are the next steps for the institute's evaluation?

The NORTH CAROLINA Education Research Council has analyzed the state's issues around teacher demand, supply and quality, including the following:
* Major components of overall supply and demand

* Geographic distribution

* Subject-matter/specialization

* Diversity

* Quality issue.

A new Web site attempts to provide "A Teacher Qualification Index for CALIFORNIA's Schools," based on the credential status and experience level of teachers. The site also provides an indication of how "underqualified" teachers are distributed within each of the state's school districts.

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Good Reads
The "teacher shortage" is actually a severe TEACHER RETENTION problem, according to a new report about the nation's teacher supply crisis. "No Dream Denied: A Pledge to America's Children," from the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, reports that almost one-third of all new teachers leave the classroom after three years, and that close to 50% leave after five years. The report finds that retirement isn't the main culprit; teachers who leave the classroom for reasons other than retirement outnumber those retiring by almost three to one. More than a quarter of a million teachers stop teaching every year, and the cumulative effect is that high teacher turnover and attrition are undermining teaching quality.

By linking TEACHER EVALUATION with academic standards for students and professional standards for educators, policymakers can transform teacher education into a more effective tool for improving instructional practice and raising student achievement, according to a new issue brief from the National Governors Association.,1188,C_ISSUE_BRIEF%5ED_4732,00.html

Read the highlights of the 2002 National Conference on TEACHER COMPENSATION AND EVALUATION, sponsored by the Consortium for Policy Research in Education. Sessions focus on performance pay, licensure, pensions, evaluation and other topics.

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Other Useful Web Sites
For information on TEACHER MENTORING programs, visit these Web sites:
* North Central Regional Educational Laboratory:

* California BTSA program:

* Connecticut BEST program:

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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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