Archive for the ‘teachers’ Category

Handbook of good human resource practices in the teaching profession

September 4, 2012 Comments off

Handbook of good human resource practices in the teaching profession
Source: International Labour Organization

The handbook draws upon experiences and good practices in a wide range of ILO member States, giving a large number of examples of good practice and lessons learned. The methods it outlines are intended to be applicable to all schools and education systems, and to be adapted to accommodate differences in resource availability, culture, ethnicity, gender, political and governance structures.

Factors Influencing the Implementation of School Wellness Policies in the United States, 2009

July 1, 2012 Comments off

Factors Influencing the Implementation of School Wellness Policies in the United States, 2009
Source: Preventing Chronic Disease (CDC)

The quality of school wellness policy implementation varies among schools in the United States. The objective of this study was to characterize the school wellness policy environment nationally and identify factors influencing the quality and effectiveness of policy implementation.

We invited school administrators from 300 high schools to complete a questionnaire; 112 administrators responded. We performed a 2-step cluster analysis to help identify factors influencing the implementation of school wellness policies.

Eighty-two percent of schools reported making staff aware of policy requirements; 77% established a wellness committee or task force, 73% developed administrative procedures, and 56% trained staff for policy implementation. Most commonly reported challenges to implementation were lack of time or coordination of policy team (37% of respondents) and lack of monetary resources (33%). The core domains least likely to be implemented were communication and promotion (63% of respondents) and evaluation (54%). Cluster 1, represented mostly by schools that have taken action toward implementing policies, had higher implementation and effectiveness ratings than Cluster 2, which was defined by taking fewer actions toward policy implementation. In Cluster 1, accountability was also associated with high ratings of implementation quality and effectiveness.

The development of organizational capacity may be critical to ensuring an environment that promotes high-quality policy implementation. Assessing, preventing, and addressing challenges; establishing clear definitions and goals; and requiring accountability for enacting policy across all core domains are critical to ensuring high-quality implementation.

AAAS Report Shares Strategies to Recruit New Generation of Highly Qualified Science and Mathematics Teachers

May 31, 2012 Comments off

AAAS Report Shares Strategies to Recruit New Generation of Highly Qualified Science and Mathematics Teachers
Source: American Association for the Advancement of Science

s U.S. science test scores stagnate, a new report by AAAS shows how high-quality science and mathematics teachers can be recruited and trained to help reverse this trend.

The report describes the innovative strategies used by the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program, which trains science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) undergraduate majors and STEM professionals to become K-12 teachers. The program has found new ways to recruit, prepare, and support these new teachers by offering them a chance to work in after-school programs, mentoring them with the help of local educators, and providing funding for research projects of their own.

Now a decade old, the program’s successes are being scrutinized as part of a national conversation on how to improve science education.

Improvements are urgently needed, education experts say. Results from the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) science test, which were released on 10 May, show that only a third of eighth-graders who took the test scored at or above the proficient level for their grade.

Preparing Teachers and Developing School Leaders for the 21st Century

March 19, 2012 Comments off

Preparing Teachers and Developing School Leaders for the 21st Century (PDF)
Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

nations around the world are undertaking wide-ranging reforms to better prepare children for the higher educational demands of life and work in the 21st century.

What are the skills that young people demand in this rapidly changing world and what competencies do teachers need to effectively teach those skills? What can teacher preparation and continuing professional development do to prepare graduates to teach well in a 21st century classroom? What are the different roles and responsibilities of 21st century school leaders and how do countries succeed in developing these leaders?

to answer these questions we need to rethink many aspects of our education systems: the quality of recruiting systems; the type of education recruits obtain before they start working; how they are monitored and what education and support they get; how their compensation is structured; how to improve performance of struggling teachers and enhance development among the best ones.

2011 MetLife Survey of the American Teacher

March 8, 2012 Comments off

2011 MetLife Survey of the American TeacherSource: MetLife Foundation
From press release (PDF):

Teachers are less satisfied with their jobs than they have been in decades, but parent engagement with schools has increased, according to the MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Teachers, Parents and the Economy, the 28 th in an annual series commissioned by MetLife and conducted by Harris Interactive. The report, based on a survey of public school teachers, parents and students during the current school year, is the first large-scale national survey to fully reflect the effects of the economy on the teaching profession.

Teacher job satisfaction has fallen by 15 percentage points since 2009, the last time the MetLife survey queried teachers on this topic, from 59 percent to 44 percent responding they are very satisfied. This rapid decline in job satisfaction is coupled with a large increase in the number of teachers reporting that they are likely to leave teaching for another occupation (17 percent in 2009 vs. 29 percent today). Teachers are also more than four times as likely now than they were five years ago to say that they do not feel their job is secure (34 percent today vs. 8 percent in 2006, the last time this question was asked). In addition, 53 percent of parents and 65 percent of teachers today say that teachers’ salaries are not fair for the work they do.

Preparing and Credentialing the Nation’s Teachers: The Secretary’s Eighth Report on Teacher Quality Based on Data Provided for 2008, 2009, and 2010

March 7, 2012 Comments off

Preparing and Credentialing the Nation’s Teachers: The Secretary’s Eighth Report on Teacher Quality Based on Data Provided for 2008, 2009, and 2010 (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Education

This eighth report on the features of America’s teacher preparation and initial state credentialing presents data states reported to the U.S. Department of Education (Department) in October 2008, October 2009 and October 2010. For purposes of this report, the term “state” refers to the entities required to report as states, that is, any of the states of the United States, as well as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the Freely Associated States (the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau). While for purposes of defining who must report a “state” includes the other entities, for purposes of presentation of data in this report other entities will be reported separately from the 50 states. Title II of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, as amended in 2008 by the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), like its predecessor, requires states to report annually on key elements of their teacher preparation programs and requirements for initial teacher certification or licensure, kindergarten through 12th grade (see appendix 1). Because the 2008 reauthorization changed both a number of state reporting requirements and the content of this annual report, and states reasonably needed time to adjust their own data collection and reporting procedures, this three-year period was by necessity a transition period. For this reason, the Department determined that the public would be better served by providing a report on these three years at one time.

New Data from U.S. Department of Education Highlights Educational Inequities Around Teacher Experience, Discipline and High School Rigor

March 6, 2012 Comments off

New Data from U.S. Department of Education Highlights Educational Inequities Around Teacher Experience, Discipline and High School Rigor

Source: U.S. Department of Education

Minority students across America face harsher discipline, have less access to rigorous high school curricula, and are more often taught by lower-paid and less experienced teachers, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

In an event at Howard University attended by civil rights and education reform groups, federal education officials today released new data from a national survey of more than 72,000 schools serving 85% of the nation’s students. The self-reported data, Part II of the 2009-10 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), covers a range of issues including college and career readiness, discipline, school finance, and student retention.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said the CRDC findings are a wake-up call to educators at every level and issued a broad challenge to work together to address educational inequities.

"The power of the data is not only in the numbers themselves, but in the impact it can have when married with the courage and the will to change. The undeniable truth is that the everyday educational experience for many students of color violates the principle of equity at the heart of the American promise. It is our collective duty to change that,” Duncan said.

Among the key findings are:

  • African-American students, particularly males, are far more likely to be suspended or expelled from school than their peers. Black students make up 18% of the students in the CRDC sample, but 35% of the students suspended once, and 39% of the students expelled.
  • Students learning English (ELL) were 6% of the CRDC high school enrollment, but made up 12% of students retained.
  • Only 29% of high-minority high schools offered Calculus, compared to 55% of schools with the lowest black and Hispanic enrollment.
  • Teachers in high-minority schools were paid $2,251 less per year than their colleagues in teaching in low-minority schools in the same district.

Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali said that for the first time, this survey includes detailed discipline data, including in-school suspensions, referrals to law enforcement, and school-related arrests.

+ Civil Rights Data Collection

Movin’ It and Improvin’ It! Using Both Education Strategies to Increase Teaching Effectiveness

January 29, 2012 Comments off

Movin’ It and Improvin’ It! Using Both Education Strategies to Increase Teaching Effectiveness
Source: Center for American Progress

Fueled in part by the U.S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top program, a massive effort to overhaul teacher evaluation is underway in states and districts across the country. The aim is to ensure that evaluations provide a better indication of “teaching effectiveness,” or the extent to which teachers can and do contribute to students’ learning, and then to act on that information to enhance teaching and learning.

In October the National Council on Teacher Quality reported that nearly two-thirds of the states made changes to teacher-evaluation policies over the past three years, a stunning amount of policy activity in an area that had remained nearly stagnant for decades. Today 25 states require an annual evaluation of teachers—up from 15 two years ago—and 23 states now require evaluations to at least consider “objective evidence of student learning in the form of student growth and/or value-added test data.”

So far most of the public debate about such reforms focused on the technical reliability of the techniques being used to measure effectiveness, especially value-added estimates of teachers’ impact on student learning. Value-added measures rely on statistical models that examine the difference between the actual and predicted achievement of a teacher’s students given their prior test scores, demo- graphic characteristics, and other measures in the model.

But as states and districts actually begin to adopt policies to measure teaching effectiveness, another kind of debate is now raging: How exactly should school systems use the results of their new teacher-evaluation systems? More broadly, once states and districts begin to measure effectiveness, what kinds of strategies should they adopt to increase the amount of measured effectiveness in the teacher workforce over time?

Download this report (pdf)

Download the introduction and summary (pdf)

CAP Report Assesses Progress in Teacher Preparation and State Accountability

January 13, 2012 Comments off

CAP Report Assesses Progress in Teacher Preparation and State Accountability
Source: Center for American Progress

The Center for American Progress released a new report today that details the progress of the 2010 winners of the Obama administration’s signature Race to the Top education program. Titled “Getting Better at Teacher Preparation and State Accountability” by Edward Crowe, the report presents new information about the specifics of each state’s goals, activities, and challenges as part of their commitments to improve teacher education, and strengthen public disclosure and accountability of program performance.

The report describes the key findings in separate profiles of the twelve winners: Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia. The paper cites examples where important changes are promised and seem likely to happen. It also notes weaknesses or areas needing improvement. An overview of the combined efforts of the states and the District of Columbia shows that:

  • Persistence in teaching by education program graduates will be disclosed publicly by five of the 12 winners. Only two states, however, will change their teacher-education accountability regulations and use programwide persistence rates for program accountability.
  • Six of the 12 winners will use data on job placement of teacher-preparation program graduates for public disclosure of program performance.
  • Only four recipients will publically report the percentage of each education preparation program’s graduates who attain advanced licensure.
  • Student-achievement outcomes will be used by all 12 grantees for public disclosure of teaching effectiveness of program graduates.

+ Full Report

The Long-Term Impacts of Teachers: Teacher Value-Added and Student Outcomes in Adulthood

January 12, 2012 Comments off

The Long-Term Impacts of Teachers: Teacher Value-Added and Student Outcomes in AdulthoodSource: National Bureau of Economic Research (via Harvard University)
From Executive Summary (PDF):

Overall, our study shows that great teachers create great value and that test score impacts are helpful in identifying such teachers. However, more work is needed to determine the best way to use VA for policy. For example, using VA in teacher evaluations could induce counterproductive responses that make VA a poorer measure of teacher quality, such as teaching to the test or cheating. There will be much to learn about these issues from school districts that start using VA to evaluate teachers. Nevertheless, it is clear that improving the quality of teaching – whether using value-added or other tools – is likely to have large economic and social returns.

Obama Administration Releases Report and Interactive Maps Highlighting Critical American Jobs Act Investments in Education

December 16, 2011 Comments off

Obama Administration Releases Report and Interactive Maps Highlighting Critical American Jobs Act Investments in Education

Source: White House

Today, the Obama Administration released a report, Education and the American Jobs Act: Creating Jobs through Investments in Our Nation’s Schools, and interactive maps that highlight estimated benefits that states and local school districts would receive if Congress acts to pass the American Jobs Act.

The White House report provides an analysis of the condition of America’s schools, which have fallen into disrepair, as well as the difficult budget environment facing school districts and teachers nationwide. In order to address these critical needs, President Obama proposed $25 billion to renovate and modernize more than 35,000 public schools and $5 billion to upgrade infrastructure at America’s community colleges through the American Jobs Act, as well as $30 billion to keep hundreds of thousands of educators in the classroom.

+ Full Report (PDF)
+ Interactive map/data

Teaching Children Well; New Evidence-Based Approaches to Teacher Professional Development and Training

December 3, 2011 Comments off

Teaching Children Well; New Evidence-Based Approaches to Teacher Professional Development and Training
Source: Center for American Progress

We have a problem. Increasing teacher and teaching effectiveness is arguably the paramount challenge facing public elementary and secondary education, and we have too few proven-effective ways of getting this done. Federal funding is pouring into initiatives that emphasize measurement and improvement of teacher performance, including the Obama administration’s signature education-reform initiatives like the Race to the Top program for states, the implementation of data systems that track student achievement, and funds dedicated to investments in innovative models of educational improvements in districts. Yet there is no stockpile of effective teacher professional development and training approaches from which states and districts can choose.

Further, the evidence suggests that most teacher professional development has little if any impact, anyway. The gaps between the stated aims of federal and state policy, the needs of the teacher workforce, and proven solutions that improve teacher and teaching effectiveness are a serious impediment to any effort to improve student achievement. In the clutter and clamor of claims and tools for improving teachers’ impacts, it is critical that state and district superintendents, principals, school boards, and reform leaders grasp the importance of their choices and direct their attention to evidence-supported models.

See also: Designing High Quality Evaluation Systems for High School Teachers

Public Schools Pay Teachers 50% Above Market, Heritage Analysis Finds

November 3, 2011 Comments off

Public Schools Pay Teachers 50% Above Market, Heritage Analysis Finds
Source: Heritage Foundation

Far from being underpaid, the typical public-school teacher makes out very well indeed, according to a new report from The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis.

“Assessing the Compensation of Public-School Teachers” concludes that, while some may well be underpaid, the typical public school teacher makes about $1.52 for every dollar made by a private-sector employee with similar skills.

Co-authored by Heritage Senior Policy Analyst Jason Richwine and Andrew G. Biggs, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, the 26-page report concludes that salaries for public-school teachers generally are comparable to those paid to similarly skilled workers in the private sector. However, the generous fringe benefits offered by public schools raise teacher compensation 52 percent above the going market rate.

That’s the equivalent of a $120 billion overpayment charged to taxpayers each year.

+ Full Report

Teachers Need Increased Support As Schools Aim To Graduate More Students College And Career Ready, New Report Finds

October 6, 2011 Comments off

Teachers Need Increased Support As Schools Aim To Graduate More Students College And Career Ready, New Report Finds
Source: Alliance for Excellent Education

School systems must provide greater support and sustained mentoring for teachers, especially those new to the profession, in order for students to graduate ready for college and a career, according to a new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education.

The report comes as most states have opted to hold their students to higher performance targets by adopting the common core state standards to make sure they have the skills to be successful after high school. However, if teachers do not begin to receive high level “induction,”— system support, professional development, and mentorship—the goals of the common core state standards will go unfulfilled, according to the policy brief “A System Approach to Building a World-Class Teaching Profession: The Role of Induction,” which was written with the support of Metlife Foundation.

To build a world-class teaching profession for the nation’s students, officials must develop strategies to reduce the rates in which teachers leave the profession and fix the unequal distribution of teaching talent between richer and poorer schools. The Alliance brief recommends the following solutions:

  • Develop systems that encourage high-quality educator development and teaching grounded in teaching practice that has been proven effective.
  • Design comprehensive programs for new teachers that provide coaching and guidance by well-trained mentors.
  • Determine the performance indicators that can reliably assess teacher competency and provide feedback to support professional learning.
  • Communicate core expectations for teaching practice, invest in professional development, and create organizational conditions conducive to meaningful staff collaboration and development.

+ Full Report (PDF)

The Impact of Voluntary Youth Service on Future Outcomes: Evidence from Teach For America

September 24, 2011 Comments off

The Impact of Voluntary Youth Service on Future Outcomes: Evidence from Teach For America (PDF)
Source: Harvard University and National Bureau of Economic Research

Nearly one million American youth have participated in service programs such as Peace Corps and Teach For America. This paper provides the first causal estimate of the impact of service programs on those who serve, using data from a web-based survey of former Teach For America applicants. We estimate the effect of voluntary youth service using a sharp discontinuity in the Teach For America application process. Participating in Teach For America increases racial tolerance, makes individuals more optimistic about the life chances of poor children, and makes them more likely to work in education. We argue that these facts are broadly consistent with the “Contact Hypothesis,” which states that, under appropriate conditions, interpersonal contact can reduce prejudice.

New From the GAO

September 22, 2011 Comments off

New GAO Report and Testimonies (PDFs)
Source: Government Accountability Office

+ Report

1.  Recovery Act Education Programs:  Funding Retained Teachers, but Education Could More Consistently Communicate Stabilization Monitoring Issues.  GAO-11-804, September 22.
Highlights -

+ Related Product:

Recovery Act Education Programs:  Survey of School Districts’ Uses of Funds. (E supplement to GAO-11-804).  GAO-11-885SP, September 22.

+ Testimonies

1.  DOD Financial Management:  Extent of Weaknesses in Controls over the Use of Public Funds and Related Improper Payments, by Asif A. Khan, director, financial management and assurance, before the Panel on Defense Financial Management and Auditability Reform, House Armed Services Committee.  GAO-11-950T, September 22.
Highlights -

2.  Homeland Security:  DHS and TSA Acquisition and Development of New Technologies, by Stephen Lord, director, homeland security and justice issues, before the Subcommittee on Transportation Security, House Homeland Security Committee.  GAO-11-957T, September 22.
Highlights -

3.  Incapacitated Adults:  Improving Oversight of Federal Fiduciaries and Court-appointed Guardians, by Kay E. Brown, director, education, workforce, and income security, before the Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts, Senate Judiciary Committee.  GAO-11-949T, September 22.

Beginning Teacher Attrition and Mobility: Results From the First Through Third Waves of the 2007-08 Beginning Teacher Longitudinal Study

September 22, 2011 Comments off

Beginning Teacher Attrition and Mobility: Results From the First Through Third Waves of the 2007-08 Beginning Teacher Longitudinal Study
Source: National Center for Education Statistics

This First Look report provides selected findings from the first three waves of the Beginning Teacher Longitudinal Study (BTLS) along with data tables and methodological information. The BTLS follows a sample of public elementary and secondary school teachers who participated in the 2007-08 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), and whose first year of teaching was 2007 or 2008. The BTLS sample includes teachers who leave teaching in the years after the SASS data collection and those who continue to teach either in the same school as the last year or in a different school. The purpose of the Beginning Teacher Longitudinal Study is to provide a better understanding of the impact that different life events have on teachers careers (such as getting married, moving to a new location, or starting a family). It will also help to understand how school and/or district characteristics and policies affect teacher satisfaction, and how teachers respond to transitions in their lives and careers (such as moving to a different school, changing the grade levels or subject taught, becoming a mentor, transitioning into a K-12 administration position, or exiting the teaching field). The study will contribute to policymakers’ understanding of teachers and of teachers’ careers as they enter, leave, or re-enter the teaching workforce and make important career and life decisions.

+ Full Report (PDF)

Middle School Mathematics Professional Development Impact Study: Findings After the Second Year of Implementation

September 12, 2011 Comments off

Middle School Mathematics Professional Development Impact Study: Findings After the Second Year of Implementation
Source: MDRC

This study examines the impact of intensive mathematics professional development (PD) on teachers’ knowledge and teaching skills for seventh-grade mathematics in rational number topics, such as fractions, decimals, percent, ratio, and proportion. The intensive PD studied includes over 100 hours of support in the form of summer institutes, seminars, and in-school coaching. Schools in 12 districts participating in the study were randomly assigned to receive the intensive PD activities or only the PD activities normally provided by the district. All seventh-grade teachers teaching at least one regular seventh-grade mathematics class within the treatment schools were offered the intensive PD during the first year of implementation. In six of the districts, the intensive PD was provided to eligible seventh-grade teachers in the study schools for a second year.

Findings after two years of implementation include:

  • The intensive PD was implemented as intended, but teacher turnover limited the average dosage received. On average, the treatment teachers in the second-year impact sample received 68 percent of the full intended dosage. Because some teachers left the study schools and others entered as the study progressed, not all teachers had the opportunity to experience the full dose of PD.
  • There was no evidence that the intensive PD resulted in improved teacher knowledge. There were no significant impacts on teachers, scores on a specially constructed teacher knowledge test or on either of the subscores. On average, about 75 percent of teachers in both the treatment and the control groups correctly answered test items that were of average difficulty for the test instrument.
  • There was no evidence that the intensive PD had led to improvements in student achievement in rational numbers knowledge. Students taught by teachers in the intensive PD group and students taught by teachers in the control group performed similarly on a rational numbers test.

+ Executive Summary (PDF)
+ Full Report (PDF)

Categories: education, K-12, MDRC, teachers

Using Data To Improve Teacher Effectiveness: A Primer for State Policymakers

September 5, 2011 Comments off

Using Data To Improve Teacher Effectiveness: A Primer for State Policymakers (PDF)
Source: Data Quality Campaign

Policymakers across the nation are leading efforts to ensure that every classroom has an effective teacher. Faced with the need to dramatically improve student outcomes, states have embraced a policy agenda that promotes and supports teacher quality in many ways, including developing evaluation and compensation policies, targeting professional development, determining the characteristics of effective teachers through research, and identifying effective teacher preparation programs.

It is incumbent upon state policymakers to invest time and resources into not only developing a shared vision for addressing teacher quality but also understanding the implications for state data systems to ensure the successful implementation of these policies. Without this proactive, deliberate approach, policymakers will find their plans constrained or undermined by data systems that do not meet policy needs.

State policymakers must prioritize these five actions to ensure that their state has the necessary data capacity and processes to inform and support state teacher effectiveness policies:

  • Collect and link key data on students and teachers at the state level;
  • Implement the policies and practices necessary to support a high-quality teacher-student data link;
  • Provide educators with timely access to data;
  • Ensure that educators receive training on data use to improve student achievement; and
  • Implement state policies to ensure that teacher preparation programs use data to improve their programs and train teacher candidates to use data.

SCORE and Partners Release Rural Education Roadmap

August 29, 2011 Comments off

SCORE and Partners Release Rural Education Roadmap
Source: State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE)

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) today released a report outlining specific recommendations to improve public education in rural communities in the South. The recommendations in Transforming the Rural South: A Roadmap to Improving Rural Education are based on research, best practices, and voices from rural communities across Tennessee and throughout the Southeast. The report, released jointly with the Ayers Foundation, Niswonger Foundation, Rural School and Community Trust, and the Tennessee School Boards Association, follows the Southeast Regional Rural Education Summit, which was held in Nashville on July 19-20, 2011.

“In Tennessee and across the South, the success and economic vibrancy of our rural communities are critically tied to quality public education,” SCORE President and CEO Jamie Woodson said. “The priorities and action items detailed in this report serve to highlight not only what must happen inside the classroom and the school house, but also what needs to happen in the community to improve rural education.”

The report outlines six priorities, with action items for each priority. The priorities include:

  • Highlighting the connection between education and economic development
  • Offering schools and districts more flexibility
  • Forming a pipeline of effective teachers
  • Using technology to meet instructional needs
  • Creating professional learning communities for administrators
  • Forming partnerships to enhance educational opportunities

+ Full Document (PDF)


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