Eric.ed.gov – State Teacher Policy Yearbook: Progress on Teacher Quality, 2007. National Summary

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Countless reports have analyzed the impact of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 on teacher quality and student achievement. What many of these reports truly leave behind, however, is the reality that state governments–not the federal government–have the strongest impact on the work of America’s 3.1 million teachers. With that in mind, three years ago the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) began the process of analyzing states’ teacher policies. NCTQ analysts sifted through tens of thousands of pages of state codes, regulations and rules, regularly corresponding with state officials who graciously provided their important knowledge and perspectives. The “State Teacher Policy Yearbook” is the first project of its kind to provide a 360-degree detailed analysis of any and every policy that states have that impact the quality of teachers, specifically their recruitment, preparation, licensing, evaluation and compensation. In all, the “Yearbook” project is an encyclopedia of individual state reports, totaling more than 5,600 pages of analysis and recommendations in 51 separate reports. Among the key findings were: (1) State policies are remarkably inflexible and outdated; (2) States do not appropriately oversee teacher preparation programs; (3) State policies are not geared toward increasing the quality and quantity of math and science teachers; and (4) The interests of adults frequently come before the needs of the children. The “Yearbook” is divided into two parts. The first part presents summaries of each state’s progress in meeting teacher quality goals. A grade is provided for each of six areas: Meeting NCLB Teacher Quality Outcomes, Teacher Licensure, Teacher Evaluation and Compensation, State Approval of Teacher Preparation Programs, Alternate Routes to Certification and Preparation of Special Education Teachers. A descriptive term is also used to reflect the state’s overall performance. The second part of the “Yearbook” provides summaries of states’ overall progress in meeting teacher quality goals. (Contains 66 figures.) [Additional funding for this publication was provided by the Achelis Foundation; Bodman Foundation; Daniels Fund; Fisher Family Foundation; and Gleason Foundation.]

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Troels Gannerup Christensen

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