"Highly-Qualified" Mathematics Teachers?
On December 11, 2007, the American Institutes for Research released a report Teacher Quality Research in 2007 specific to the NCLB context. Restricting itself to research reports released in 2007, the report issued some "major findings":
So, did you learn anything new from this report? Sometimes it is nice to see that research supports what you "know"!
- Most teachers are "highly-qualified" under NCLB--but that doesn't mean that all students now have access to a great teacher.
- State policies definign what it means to be a "highly qualified" teacher vary greatly--so a teacher who is "highly qualified" in one state might not be "highly qualified" in another.
- Some teacher credentials are associated with improved math achivement results, but the effects are considerably smaller for reading achievement.
- Teachers tend to "hit their stride" around five years of teaching experience.
- Whatever the yardstick we use to measure good teachers, it seems clear that we don't have enough of them in mathematics, science, and special education.
- High poverty schools face systematics challenges in recruiting and retaining highly qualified teachers and principals.
- State and local policymakers should consider incentives and alternatives to traditional single-salary schedules fort teachers.
- Districts can improve teacher quality, in part, by improving hiring practices, which can be lengthy, bureaucratic, and based on limited information.
- Support from and collaboration with other adults--both principals and teacher colleagues--is critical for attracting and keeping teachers in high-need schools.