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ECS TQ Update

February - March 2004

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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
MARK R. WARNER, governor of Virginia since January 2002 and ECS chairman is leading ECS' efforts to make the recruitment and preparation of high-quality teachers for hard-to-staff schools a greater priority for state governors, legislators, chief state school officers and other state education leaders.

CHARLES R. COBLE, ECS vice president of policy studies and programs and executive director of the ECS Teaching Quality Policy Center since 2003, was honored for outstanding service to the field of policy or research in teacher education. Coble received the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education's (AACTE) David G. Imig Award for Distinguished Contributions to Teacher Education at AACTE's 56th Annual Meeting in Chicago.

ECS is in the process of completing a STATE TEACHER RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION POLICY DATABASE that will be available in April. The database will include, among other things:
* Financial recruitment incentives
* Teacher retirement policies
* Licensure/pension reciprocity policies.

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New Center Publications
ECS has just published a study by Richard Ingersoll that is a first-of-its-kind review of the RESEARCH ON INDUCTION AND MENTORING. The findings suggest that teacher induction and mentoring programs can have a positive impact on teacher retention and calls for more robust research in order to provide stronger support for policy recommendations.

The ECS HOUSSE DATABASE and 50-State HOUSSE reports demonstrate how states are planning to assess the subject-matter competency of their existing teachers.

Several states have taken TEACHER QUALITY DATA COLLECTION to a new level by requiring information above and beyond data requirements in Title II, NCLB, and national or state accreditation programs. Added state data- collection measures include tracking: teacher impact on student achievement, beginning teacher classroom performance, career path data, employer statisfaction data and teacher preparation program graduate satisfaction.

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Upcoming Center Meetings/Events
Mark your calendar and save the date for the ECS SPRING STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING, April 16-18 in Boise, Idaho.

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Related ECS Activities
Teacher flight is just one of numerous challenges faced by URBAN SCHOOL DISTRICTS according to a new ECS report "Improving Academic Achievement in Urban Districts: What State Policy Makers Can Do."

The ECS Center for Community College Policy has released four policy papers related to the "COMMUNITY COLLEGE'S ROLE IN TEACHER PREPARATION." The papers cover a number of topics, including the community college as a professional development resource for working teachers, training for paraprofessionals, transfer and articulation for teacher education candidates, and teacher education baccalaureate degrees.

See what U.S. governors say about education in their STATE-OF-THE-STATE ADDRESSES.

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What States Are Doing
ALABAMA Governor Bob Riley has proposed modifying tenure for teachers and eliminating tenure for administrators. Riley also has proposed allowing schools to hire teachers for part-time positions without having to provide them with tenure or the benefits provided to full-time teachers.

ARKANSAS recently signed legislation that provides housing incentives to encourage high-performing teachers to move to high-priority school districts. Incentives include home loans, adjusted mortgage rates and a pilot rental-housing program.

Since 2000, city leaders in Chattanooga, TENNESSEE's fourth-largest city, have used various financial incentives to draw the region's best teachers into its most troubled schools, including:
* $5,000 annual bonus
* Free tuition toward a master's degree
* $10,000 loan toward a down payment for a home
* $2,000 to every teacher in a school with significant improvements in test scores.

Since the initiative began, 100 underperforming teachers have been transferred out of the district's nine low-performing schools and replaced with more accomplished teachers.

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Good Reads
A new book, "Letters to the Next President" includes a series of letters from numerous prominent educators and public leaders concerning the shortcomings of current state and federal education policies. The letters attempt to offer a variety of solutions for guaranteeing a better education system, including ATTRACTING AND RETAINING GOOD TEACHERS.

Recruiting and retaining HIGH-QUALITY TEACHERS has been a persistent challenge for rural school districts. A recent AEL policy brief examines the issue and suggests strategies to address the problem, including:
* Offering financial incentives
* Improving recruiting and hiring practices
* Requiring/financing induction programs.

The Teaching Commission's new report establishes two strategies essential to raising student performance and transforming the way in which the nation's public school TEACHERS ARE RECRUITED AND RETAINED. The two strategies are to: (1) bring a national sense of urgency to luring and keeping the best and brightest in the teaching profession and (2) muster the political will to act on recommendations for putting a high-quality teacher in every classroom.

Qualified teachers are a critical national resource that requires federal investment and cross-state coordination, as well as other state and local action. A recent article by Linda Darling-Hammond and Gary Sykes states that the NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT provides a standard for equitable access to teacher quality that is both reasonable and feasible if supported by appropriate national programs.

According to a report from the Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy, in 1999-2000, well over four million 7th to 12th graders in each of the fields of English, math and history were taught by teachers with neither a major nor a minor in the field. The report finds that, despite numerous policy attempts to reduce OUT-OF-FIELD TEACHING, the problem has gotten slightly worse in recent years.

In a recent publication, the Education Trust takes a critical look at the ramifications of states REPORTING INACCURATE DATA on highly qualified teachers in their jurisdictions. The publication also examines the value of making such data, and U.S. Department of Education analyses thereof, readily available to the public.

President Bush's recently released 2005 budget allots no federal money to the NATIONAL BOARD FOR PROFESSIONAL TEACHING STANDARDS (NBPTS). It is the first time in years that NBPTS has no national funding. The board has received sizeable support from the government since 1990, with $129 million coming from the U.S. Department of Education alone.

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Other Useful Web Sites
The Chicago Public Schools' (CPS) innovative Web site, the TEACHER HOUSING RESOURCE CENTER, provides CPS teachers with information on the best housing options in the city, including:
* Student teacher housing
* Rental properties
* Home purchase options.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) TEACHER NEXT DOOR PROGRAM offers a 50% discount to any public or private K-12 school teacher or administrator who purchases select HUD properties in certain revitalization areas.

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International Focus
In March 2002, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development launched a major project, "ATTRACTING, DEVELOPING AND RETAINING EFFECTIVE TEACHERS," scheduled for completion in mid-2004. There are currently 25 countries participating.,2340,en_2649_34521_1839497_1_1_1_1,00.html

The Columbia Group provides a brief summary of how GERMANY, JAPAN AND CHINA are preparing teachers.

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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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