Six areas that can improve teaching quality

New guide aims to positively impact teaching quality through targeted efforts

teaching-guideA new policy guide from seven educational groups aims to help state leaders improve teaching quality with examples of models that, through research and actual implementation, have proven successful in states across the country.

“Excellent Teachers for Each and Every Child,” is broken into six major sections: Recruitment, Preparation, Professional Learning and Development, Evaluation Systems, Equitable Teaching and Learning Conditions, and Funding. Each part of the guide presents examples, sample legislation, and more.

The blueprint aims to help policymakers implement effective policy changes and improve teaching quality “by pulling from research, state, and global models for ensuring a talented, diverse, and sustainable teaching force that prepares all students for college, career, and life.”

(Next page: State models for teaching success)

“This guide shows us how state policies around teacher recruitment strategies, clinical partnerships between educator preparation programs and PK-12 school districts, and righteous exit measures…will help us ensure that every learner is taught by an effective teacher,” said Sharon P. Robinson, president and CEO of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), one of the authoring groups.

One such instance of successful state policy is found in the Recruiting section of the guide. The state case comes from Illinois, which has legislation called the Grow Your Own Teacher Act. It focuses on preparing “highly skilled teachers who will teach in high-need, hard-to-staff schools and remain in those schools for a substantial period of time.”

Another comes from the Preparation category. In Oregon, legislation created a state strategy known as the Network of Quality Teaching and Learning, which supports new teachers by providing funding for “strategic investments intended to rapidly improve student performance, close achievement gaps, and raise levels of educational attainment and employability.”

The other sections feature similar examples from other states.

The guide also draws from the practices of academically advanced nations like Singapore and Finland, and includes a range of different resources. This includes recommendations for steps to support policymaking and agenda setting, examples of model legislation and research-proven state policies, and tips for professional development, evaluation, and more.

“This guide provides comprehensive and practical tools for state, district, school, and classroom decision makers who aim to support all students to succeed,” according to a press release. The guide can be downloaded for free here, where related resources are also available.

In addition to AACTE, the National Opportunity to Learn Campaign, Opportunity Actions, the National Education Association, The American Federation of Teachers, the Center for Teaching Quality, and the Stanford Center for Opportunity in Public Education also contributed to the blueprint.

Carly Buchanan is an eSchool News Editorial Intern.

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