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ECS TQ Update

August - September 2004

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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
TQ SOURCE, a new collaboration between ECS and Learning Point Associates, provides a multitude of resources on teaching quality issues. Resources include 50-state policy information, customizable graphs and tables, research summaries and information about current teaching quality initiatives and programs.

A new 50-state database provides summaries of state TEACHER RECRUITMENT and RETENTION policies, and links to other relevant sources of information. The database also allows users to contrast and compare state policies.

"Who's In Charge Here? The Changing Landscape of TEACHER PREPARATION in America" concludes that, to strengthen the preparation and development of teachers, policymakers must work to assure the longevity and stability of partnerships between public schools and universities.

Check out our 50-state compilation "StateNote" on SPECIAL EDUCATION CERTIFICATION and endorsement systems.

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Upcoming Center Meetings/Events
With support from Washington Mutual and the Johnson Foundation, ECS and Learning Point Associates are hosting a Wingspread conference September 28-30. The conference is examining HOW CLASSROOM TIME IS USED in low-performing schools and how it might be restructured to produce more effective teaching.

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Related ECS Activities
Check out ECS' new toolkit designed to help policymakers and practitioners develop policies to increase COMMUNITY COLLEGES' INVOLVEMENT IN TEACHER PREPARATION.

The most comprehensive and up-to-date report of states' progress toward implementing the NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT is now available on our Web site. Print copies are available, and online orders will receive a special $5 discount.

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What States Are Doing
LOUISIANA may become the first state in the nation that rates teacher training based on how students fare in the classroom. The proposed plan could help pinpoint which of the state's 19 public and private college-based teacher preparation programs are most effective.

Four years after DELAWARE's General Assembly ordered the nation's only teacher accountability system tied to student test scores, the State Board of Education finally approved partial implementation of the plan. The board will seek to establish pilot programs in several districts around the state, in which 20% of a teacher's job evaluation would be dependent on student test scores.

ILLINOIS' Public Act 093-0679 makes it easier for two groups of teacher to meet the state's teacher certification requirements: (1) teachers moving from another state into Illinois and (2) inexperienced teachers wanting to upgrade their Illinois licenses.

CALIFORNIA's Commission on Teacher Credentialing has passed a motion declaring that the American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence program - which certifies teacher candidates who manage to pass a set of tests - will not be recognized in the state.

A NORTH CAROLINA Center for Public Policy Research study recommends that the state board require school systems with teacher turnover in excess of 15% to annually file "Teacher Retention Improvement Plans." To head off an impending teacher shortage crisis, the study also recommends the state board seek funds for financially struggling counties with teacher turnover higher than 15%.

NEW YORK City will triple the amount it spends to hire mentors for new teachers, setting aside $36 million this year. Under the program, more than 5,000 first-year teachers will receive year-round guidance from 300 mentors.

District officials in PHILADELPHIA, citing the No Child Left Behind Act, are pushing for significant cutbacks in teacher seniority rights.

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Good Reads
An article by Virginia Governor Mark Warner in the latest edition of Education Next focuses on how to attract and retain better teachers in HARD-TO-STAFF schools. Just like professionals in the business world, Warner says, the best and brightest teachers will gravitate to where they can find competitive compensation and benefit packages, positive working environments, and opportunities to upgrade their skills. Warner focused on this issue as 2003-04 ECS chairman.

According to the U.S. Department of Education's third annual report on teacher quality, seven states do not currently assess the ACADEMIC CONTENT KNOWLEDGE of individuals seeking initial certification or licensure. In addition, the report says many states that require content assessments have set minimum passing scores so only the lowest-performing teacher candidates are screened out.

A book by Richard Rothstein makes a series of policy recommendations to narrow the STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT GAP - including focusing on education, health and housing issues. The book also attempts to calculate the cost of significantly reducing the achievement gap.

Pay for the nation's teachers is considerably lower than for other workers with similar education and skills, according to a new book from the Economic Policy Institute. Despite growing national attention on the need to recruit and retain highly skilled teachers, the book finds the TEACHER WAGE GAP grew larger over the last decade.

"Where We Stand: TEACHER QUALITY," is a recent AFT report finds the current system of teacher education, licensure and professional development is generally devoid of high standards and is in serious need of improvement.

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Other Useful Web Sites
NATIONMASTER.COM provides users with a central data source and a handy way to graphically compare nations statistically. On education, the site provides information on a variety of issues, including starting teacher salaries worldwide and comparisons of teaching weeks per year.

The UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA's COLLEGE OF EDUCATION Web site provides a comprehensive list of education policy and research organizations.

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International Focus
A third of LONDON's teachers must come from minority ethnic communities to help end the historic failure of the education system, says a report from the London Development Agency.

NEW ZEALAND's Ministry of Education says the number of teachers being physically assaulted by students is rising. A recent online survey conducted by the country's secondary teachers' union shows 70% of teachers want panic buttons installed in their classrooms.,2106,3014384a6009,00.html

AUSTRALIA's Victorian schools are being offered up to $20,000 for each teacher who agrees to retrain and work in hard-to-staff subjects such as math, languages, technology and physical education. Incentives are also available to rural teachers as part of a statewide push to improve staff shortages in rural schools.

Education ministers from 23 nations have signed a protocol discouraging richer countries from POACHING TEACHERS from poorer ones. Last year, England gave work permits to 5,564 teachers from other countries, including 1,492 from South Africa and 523 from Jamaica.

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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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