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ECS TQ Update

April - May 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
ECS researcher Jennifer Azordegan recently presented a 50-state perspective of policy implementation related to NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND and teaching quality to the Colorado Association for Teacher Educators. The presentation reviewed:

  • State definitions for highly qualified teachers
  • Subject-matter competency requirements
  • High-quality professional development
  • The role of teacher educators in helping teachers become “highly qualified."

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New Center Publications
The Education Commission of the States (ECS) and Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) have launched a new interactive, online tool to help policymakers, education leaders, reporters and others better understand and EVALUATE EDUCATION RESEARCH. "A Policymaker's Primer on Education Research: How To Understand, Evaluate and Use It", is a first-of-its-kind effort.

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Upcoming Center Meetings/Events
Mark your calendar and save the date for THE NATIONAL FORUM ON EDUCATION POLICY, July 13-16 in Orlando Florida. The forum will cover various topics 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.

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Related ECS Activities
Check out our 50-state comparison of SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR LICENSE REQUIREMENTS, including license portability, waivers and alternative certification provisions.

A new issue paper from the ECS National Center for Learning and CITIZENSHIP reviews the need to incorporate citizenship standards into reading and writing assessments. It also articulates the need to ensure teachers get the professional development they need to help students meet the standards.

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What States Are Doing
VIRGINIA has become the 21st state to join a multi-state partnership network founded by the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (NCTAF). As a NCTAF partner, Virginia's teacher educators, administrators and policymakers will have access to guidance and technical support from other member states, as well as direct support for implementing strategies to enhance teaching quality, teacher retention and professional development.

WISCONSIN Governor Jim Doyle has signed first-of-its-kind legislation that requires students to get tested for HIV if teachers think they were exposed to contaminated blood.

Nearly 8% of PHILADELPHIA public school teachers have applied to retire under a new early retirement program designed to save the school system millions of dollars.|deborah|Y

The PENNSYLVANIA State Department of Education is refusing to make middle school teachers' certification exam scores available to the public, and Governor Ed Rendell is backing that position. Parents, however, can ask the department whether their children's teachers are certified under state law.|deborah|Y&is_rd=Y

A 2003 report from the OHIO Governor's Commission on Teaching Success makes a series of recommendations for improving teacher quality, including establishing a data-driven statewide plan to help districts and schools recruit and retain high-quality teachers and principals.

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Good Reads
In his new book, “Common Sense School Reform," Frederick M. Hess calls for school change based on tough-minded ACCOUNTABILITY, competition and workforce design. A review of his book is featured in Education Week at

The National Council on Teacher Quality's (NCTQ) new No Child Left Behind report, “Necessary and Insufficient, Resisting a Full Measure of Teacher Quality," takes a look at states' "high objective uniform state standards of evaluation" (HOUSSE) designed to evaluate experienced teachers' SUBJECT MATTER COMPETENCY. It finds that most HOUSSEs aren't quite making the grade when it comes to rigorous content-matter evaluation.

For a 50-state picture of the HOUSSEs, be sure to check out ECS' HOUSSE DATABASE.

An Education Trust report discusses how VALUE-ADDED DATA can be used to help measure the effectiveness of teacher preparation and professional development programs, as well as ensure that low-income and minority children get the teachers they need to succeed.

The Educational Testing Service has released a position paper with four key recommendations for states to improve TEACHER QUALITY. The recommendations include raising entry standards into the profession, establishing induction and mentoring programs for beginning teachers, using better professional development programs, and placing a greater emphasis on observing and evaluating teachers in the classroom.

A Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) short paper encourages states to follow the lead of California and New York and target incentives for NATIONAL BOARD CERTIFIED TEACHERS to work in high-poverty schools or state school improvement activities.

Another PPI article looks at different state and district policies and the crucial need to retool the TEACHER HIRING process so that urban school systems are able to attract the talent they so desperately need.

Preparing teachers for diversity is an increasingly important component of teacher education. This issue is addressed in an article by Gloria Ladson-Billings on the TEACH FOR DIVERSITY initiative implemented by the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Other Useful Web Sites
STANFORD UNIVERSITY is conducting an online survey, funded by the Wallace Foundation, to assess the qualities of effective principal training programs (pre-service and in-service); how these programs are currently financed; and the policy, institutional and organizational enablers of effective programs.

The COUNCIL OF CHIEF STATE SCHOOL OFFICERS is now producing the “Teacher Quality and Improvement" e-newsletter, a biweekly publication that focuses on efforts to strengthen teacher quality and school leadership, particularly in high-poverty, low-performing schools. To submit a relevant news item, provide feedback or subscribe, contact Cindy Prince at

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International Focus
Between 1994-2001 in 14 of 19 countries with relevant data, the salary of a teacher with 15 years experience grew more slowly than gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, according to a policy brief from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The brief examines a variety of policies that impact the QUALITY OF THE TEACHING WORKFORCE.

Finnish 15-year-olds scored ahead of their peers in 31 other countries on TESTS OF READING, MATH AND SCIENCE. Some argue that one key to the country's exceptional performance is that its teachers are highly respected and must have at least a master's degree.

Additional international COMPARATIVE EDUCATION STUDIES are available on the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement Web site.

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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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