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Unfulfilled Promise: Ensuring High Quality Teachers for our Nation’s Students No Child Left Behind: A Status Report from Southeastern Schools Eric Hirsch.

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Presentation on theme: "Unfulfilled Promise: Ensuring High Quality Teachers for our Nation’s Students No Child Left Behind: A Status Report from Southeastern Schools Eric Hirsch."— Presentation transcript:

1 Unfulfilled Promise: Ensuring High Quality Teachers for our Nation’s Students No Child Left Behind: A Status Report from Southeastern Schools Eric Hirsch LSS/EPLC Summer Institute August 2, 2004

2 SECTQ improves student learning by shaping policies that support quality teaching through engaging accomplished teachers, building coalitions and conducting research While attention is riveted on AYP, high quality teachers the key to ensuring student learning What has changed in schools as the result of NCLB’s highly qualified requirements and funding?

3 Unfulfilled Promise: The Study n 4 states – AL, GA, NC, TN – 12 districts and 24 schools n Survey all core subject teachers, interviews with district administrators (Sup’t., HR, PD, Title I, etc.) n Focus groups with teachers and school visits – more than 160 educators

4 Finding 1: “Highly Qualified Does Not Ensure High Quality “I’ve been in this business for 38 years, and to be honest I have never seen a teacher get into difficulty because they didn’t have the content. It has always been they didn’t have the mastery of teaching strategies.” - human resources administrator, rural district

5 Finding 1: “Highly Qualified Does Not Ensure High Quality n Content knowledge is necessary, not sufficient –Licensing above and beyond? n Teacher preparation and experience matter –Alternative route deemed highly qualified from day one –Traditional prep also needs to improve n It’s hard to know whether someone knows their content –PRAXIS tests and cut scores vary tremendously –HOUSSE systems of differing quality: “a quality loophole so big you could drive a truck through it”

6 Finding 2: Hard-to-Staff Solutions are Hard to Find “We really worked to find teachers this past year, but the only two math teachers we could find had just been released by another school system. So, we hire them for two to three years and then don’t renew them. We are passing around teachers who are not very competent.” - superintendent, rural district

7 Finding 2: Hard-to-Staff Solutions are Hard to Find n In one school visited, only 29 percent were fully licensed, 8 percent had an advanced degree and more than 85 percent grew up in or near town. Turnover is approximately 30 percent per year n Insufficient funds to truly create the array of incentives necessary to recruit and retain in hard-to- staff schools n Lack of capacity and know how on the part of many administrators in hard-to-staff schools and districts

8 Finding 3: Same Approaches Will Lead to the Same Results “Professional development for my folks is 100 percent my responsibility, and I cannot do it all.” - superintendent, rural district

9 Finding 3: Same Approaches Will Lead to the Same Results n Schools and districts need customized guidance, technical assistance, and resources n Counting “Highly Qualified” teachers may not be as easy as –In 1/3 of schools, at least 30% did not know HQ status. At one school, 63 percent n The demand for professional development is high, but confusion and dwindling resources are hampering efforts n Leadership, money and community support is key to long-term success

10 Recommendations: Federal n Amend the law to focus not only on content, but also on ability to teach by requiring performance based assessments n Title II should include additional funds to ensure small rural schools can recruit and retain high quality teachers n Make investments similar to the Medical Manpower Act – a comprehensive response to shortages

11 Recommendations: State n Use “highly qualified” as a starting point for conversations on what teaching quality looks like (TX, GA). Do not offer automatic reciprocity without an understanding of state’s HQ definitions and system n State assistance to schools and districts should ensure that innovative and successful approaches are thoroughly detailed, best practices are systematically shared and assistance in implementation is provided

12 Recommendations: State n Invest strategically in a combination of incentives to recruit and retain teachers for hard-to-staff and low performing schools…including building a critical mass of accomplished teachers, intensive induction and better working conditions n Collect more comprehensive data on a range of recruitment, preparation and professional development efforts, as well as teacher working conditions to assess progress

13 Recommendations: Local Districts n Understand how local, state and federal dollars are spent and analyze current practice n Districts need to focus on addressing recruitment and retention challenges with an emphasis on quality, not on meeting the mandates of NCLB n Place teaching quality at the center of school improvement strategies.

14 In the end, it will take nothing less than a concerted and coordinated effort of the federal government, states, and districts to overhaul the way we recruit, license, induct, and support teachers to ensure that we have not only a highly qualified teacher, but also high quality teaching in every classroom, every day

15 976 Airport Road, Ste. 250 Chapel Hill, North Carolina (919) For a copy of the full report and other information, please review our website at


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