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ECS TQ Update

June - July 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
View an ECS presentation to be used at several SUMMER WORKSHOPS hosted by the U.S. Department of Education. The workshops, designed to help teachers increase student achievement, will be held in: Denver, Colorado (June 21-22); Portland, Oregon (June 28-30); Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania July 6-8); Orlando, Florida (July 12-14); Anaheim, California (July 21-23); St. Louis, Missouri (July 28-30) and Boston, Massachusetts (August 2-4). ECS' Charles Coble is a presenter in Denver, Orlando and St. Louis.

THE NATIONAL FORUM ON EDUCATION POLICY, which takes place July 13-16 in Orlando Florida, will include various sessions on teaching quality, including:

  • High-quality Teachers: Is NCLB Getting Us There?
  • What's New and Promising in Teacher Preparation?
  • Paying Teachers for Performance: Let's Pull Off the Gloves and Get to the Bottom of the Issue.
  • The Teaching Gap: Reflections on Teaching and How To Improve It.

In addition, four SMALL ROUNDTABLE discussions will focus on the lack of teacher mobility, virtual coaching and online communities to support teaching, policies that lead to a teaching brain drain in urban districts and Denver's progressive new plan that pays teachers on performance and market-based considerations rather than seniority.

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Related ECS Activities
A new ECS policy brief examines the positive and negative implications the No Child Left Behind Act holds for the EARLY LEARNING field, including the important role that teacher quality plays in promoting student achievement.

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What States Are Doing
In LOUISIANA, HB 1659, which has been signed into law by Governor Kathleen Blanco, significantly limits the power of school boards in districts identified as being in academic crisis. For such districts, the law grants wide decisionmaking authority to the local superintendent.

The FLORIDA Board of Education recently approved a new online test for use in certifying teachers. The new exam, which is largely multiple choice, has not yet been used and is accepted in only two other states -- Idaho and Pennsylvania. Candidates must have a bachelor's degree to qualify for the exam and full certification is not awarded until the candidate is teaching and the school principal signs off on his or her classroom skills.

The NEW JERSEY Department of Education has released the results of a survey documenting the status of the state's teachers in meeting the No Child Left Behind Act's highly qualified definition. The survey, which required participation from all districts and schools, includes data on the percentage of classes taught by highly qualified teachers and the percentage of teachers who are highly qualified in all subjects taught. The survey includes data that goes a step beyond information required of states in their September 2003 NCLB applications to the U.S. Department of Education.

A new law in ARIZONA (H.B. 2475) enables school districts to use federal "Impact Aid" for teacher housing.

ARKANSAS has enacted legislation (S.B. 89) that provides extraordinary financial incentives for teacher recruitment and retention in certain high priority districts with an average daily membership of 1,000 or fewer.

Legislation signed into law in NEW MEXICO provides a three-tiered licensing framework and minimum salary requirements for educational assistants in public schools.

A new law in CONNECTICUT requires institutions of higher education that offer teacher education programs to include literacy training beginning July 1, 2006.

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Good Reads
The Alliance for Excellent Education has released a report that cites comprehensive INDUCTION, especially in a teacher's first two years on the job, as the single best strategy to reduce teacher attrition rates. The report, includes federal policy recommendations, in-depth analysis of new teacher induction practices.

Good teachers, those working in tough circumstances and those with critical skills are often wildly UNDERPAID according to Frederick M. Hess, director of educational policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. At the same time, Hess says, mediocre teachers are often substantially overpaid.

Paul T. Hill argues that education protects incumbents and fails to create open opportunities for capable newcomers. The result, Hill says, is the TEACHING PROFESSION attracts those who prefer security and dread being judged on performance.

A recent Education Policy Analysis Archives article looks at the prevailing literature of REFORM EFFORTS to foster significant change in teaching practice.

An article from Education Trust looks at how value-added data offers numerous possibilities for measuring the effectiveness of TEACHER PREPARATION programs and professional development models.

Recent research by Dan Goldhaber and Emily Anthony indicates that NATIONAL BOARD FOR PROFESSIONAL TEACHING STANDARDS CERTIFIED TEACHERS are more effective than their counterparts who are not nationally certified.

The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher (NCATE) has approved a streamlined review system that is expected to bring more uniformity to the ACCREDITATION PROCESS. The new process shifts much of the control that NCATE once granted to member organizations to the accrediting body itself, thus resulting in less paperwork.

A recent Finance Project report found that while significant dollars are spent on teacher PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT, the investment is not clearly linked to improved student learning. The report also illustrates various ways in which the requirements, delivery and financing of training and professional development in other professions differ from those in education.

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Other Useful Web Sites
The PROJECT ON THE NEXT GENERATION OF TEACHERS is a multi-year research project addressing critical questions regarding the future of the teaching force. The project examines issues related to attracting, supporting and retaining quality teachers in U.S. public schools.

CALIFORNIA'S TEACHER QUALIFICATION INDEX (TQI) evaluates what the state's 10 largest school districts are doing to ensure all their students have access to highly qualified teachers. The data is based on interviews with district officials. In some cases, links to district strategic plans are also available.

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International Focus
In 2003, the United Kingdom implemented standards for what new higher-level TEACHING ASSISTANTS should know, understand and be able to do. The standards also are designed to help enable some support staff to undertake a more extended role in student learning.

The National Foundation for Education Research's Current Educational Research in the UK (CERUK) is a database of current or ongoing EDUCATION RESEARCH in the United Kingdom.

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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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