This from Education Week:
According to the report,
Federal lawmakers should shift their teacher-quality focus from front-end qualifications to supporting state and district efforts to measure and identify effective teachers based on student-performance outcomes, a paper from the Washington-based Center for American Progress argues.
Federal law should stop focusing on “quality,” as measured by front-end qualifications, and start focusing on “effectiveness,” as measuredby whether teachers have actually helped students learn. Research now shows that most qualifications only weakly predict whether teachers will succeed in the classroom, and oneof the best predictors of future performance is past performance.
This means that increasing the share of teachers who are high performers will be a straighter path to improving student achievement than focusing on credentials. What is not so clear is how the transition to a performance focus can work on the ground.
The paper defends its focus on effectiveness and how it might work, and it describes current federal policy related to teacher quality. It then provides some new ideas about how federal policy can stimulate change at the state and local level to help states and districts move from a qualifications focus to an effectiveness focus: That is, a focus on a teacher’s ability to improve student learning as measured by both value-added measures and other measures.
If an effectiveness approach is going to succeed, three things must be in place:
- State and district capacity to collect and use high-quality data
- Knowledge about how to use these data to inform human capital policies
- The political will to focus on teacher effectiveness
The paper proposes federal investments in the following:
The infrastructure (data, assessment, and evaluation s • ystems) needed to evaluate teachers and their ability to improve student performance
• A state and district grant program to incentivize reforms that focus on teacher effectiveness
• An alternative certification grant program to expand the pool of talented teachers,
particularly for high-poverty schools
• A pilot state grant program to explore a pathway toward teacher certification that
focuses on teacher effectiveness