2009 State Teacher Policy Yearbook

This third edition of the NCTQ Yearbook takes another well-deserved
look at the teaching profession, boasting a revamped set of goals and
indicators even more rigorous than last year’s. The headline? States are
floundering in all areas. Whereas the highest grade in 2008
was a B+ (North Carolina), this year’s front runner clocks in with only
a C (Florida). The comparisons stop there, however, as NCTQ President
Kate Walsh explains, because the metrics were significantly
overhauled--and to our eyes, for the better. There are now five focus
areas (up from three): teacher training, recruitment (in particular,
expanding the pool), identifying effective teachers, retaining effective
teachers, and dismissing ineffective ones. Overall, the country earned a
D. States (plus the District of Columbia) did particularly poorly in
the identification of effective teachers, earning an average grade of
D-. Further, evaluation and tenure policies don’t take into account the
one thing that they should: classroom effectiveness. To wit, just four
states prioritize student learning in teacher evaluations and only
sixteen require any objective measures of student learning at all. Only
four take into account teacher effectiveness when rewarding tenure; in
the other forty-seven, tenure is basically awarded automatically. But
all this doom-and-gloom is mediated in the final pages, as the report
offers practical and cost-neutral solutions, based when applicable on
best practices already in place. There’s much more to comb through. Find
the report here and see how your state fared on the report’s interactive website here.

National Council on Teacher Quality
2010

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