The best and worst states for teacher policy

However, the report emphasizes that, in its opinion, most states still have a “long way to go” to ensure that new teachers are classroom-ready.

Areas that need improvement, says the report, are:

  • Nearly all states set a low academic bar for teachers: “Whether measured by a test or GPA, academic requirements established by states for admission to teacher preparation are weak or non-existent,” notes the report.
  • There is a significant early childhood licensing loophole: Only six states require prospective teachers to pass elementary content tests with separate scores for each subject.
  • Special education continues to be a broken area of teacher policy: 28 states still offer only a K-12 certification in special education, requiring no specialization by subject.
  • Teacher preparation programs lack accountability.

Another criticism of teacher policy across states is in their lack of action on policies aimed at recruiting and retaining the best teachers in the profession.

For instance, few states “compensate effective teacher for their accomplishments with students, many burden teachers with unnecessary coursework…that have little or no impact on teacher effectiveness, and not enough tailor [PD] and support to teacher performance results,” says the report.

For more information on NCTQ’s report, visit the Yearbook website, which provides national and state-specific reports, searchable access to the data, topical pages, a customized search tool, and options for generating graphic results that can be exported and shared.

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Meris Stansbury

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