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TQB: Teacher Quality Bulletin Newsletter

05/06/2014

For some teachers, housing affordability stinks…

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Spring has sprung...

Spring has arrived here in Washington, and we’re celebrating the start of Teacher Appreciation Week. We’re also gearing up for the release of the second edition of the Teacher Prep Review . The upcoming June launch of the Review will follow on the heels of the Obama Administration's recent announcement of its intention to increase accountability for teacher prep programs. We fully support the Administration's move and encourage higher education to do the same. Our teachers deserve better.

How do teacher salaries stack up, bungalow to bungalow?

The most popular topic on Teacher Trendline is on the subject of teacher salaries (probably because we don’t cover sex). This year we make it real, asking which district salary schedules will make it possible for a teacher to buy a home that isn’t located under an interstate bridge and before retirement time rolls around. Looking at all 116 districts in the NCTQ Teacher Contract Database, we learn that the District of Columbia, Long Beach, and Newark all offer the highest starting teacher salaries… but, five years in, will their salaries be house friendly? Or do teachers need to move to Dayton?

State-by-State Evaluation Timeline Briefs

With the whirlwind of activity around teacher evaluation over the last five years, it would be easy to conclude that most states now have teacher evaluation systems that are up and running. While there has indeed been tremendous activity at the policy level, the reality is that most states have barely begun to implement these new systems and are years away from linking any consequences to a teacher’s performance and tenure decisions, salary or licensure advancement, dismissal or myriad other outcomes. See the problem here? Our new set of briefs provides a primer on each state’s evaluation requirements and their all-important timelines for implementation.

 

VIEWS

Minnesota student teaching placement bill fails

Last week, the Minnesota legislature rejected a completely sensible bill that would have required teacher prep programs to place their student teachers with only effective cooperating teachers, not just any teacher who volunteers. The reasons legislators gave for rejecting the bill ranged from disappointing to nonsensical. In the end, the bill didn't even get a hearing.

She’s really nice, but….

A disturbing new survey from Third Way adds more evidence to a major worry with respect to teaching: the prestige associated with teaching. Some 400 high-achieving college students found that not only is teaching becoming less prestigious, but also (and not surprisingly), that teacher preparation is viewed as one of the easiest majors out there. Which it is. Only a third of those polled would describe teachers as “smart.” Instead, they characterize teachers as “nice,” “patient,” and…. “average.”

Young professionals see big potential in teacher prep reform

A recent survey about education reform from Young Education Professionals shows that members think teacher prep reform is second only to universal pre-k in terms of leverage. That being said, the difference between the perceived impact teacher prep reform could have and the probability members see of it actually occurring – what YEP calls the “potential gap” – was the largest of any of the reforms they included in the survey.

A teacher's perspective on assessment data

In this blog posting, NCTQ staffer Angel Gonzalez reached out to our Teacher Advisory Group to gain some perspective on data in the classroom, stemming from a new report out from the Data Quality Campaign. The report calls on a series of national and state-level education experts, including NCTQ’s own Sandi Jacobs, to recommend clear pathways states can create for teachers to develop literacy in data. The recommendations highlighted in the Data Quality Campaign report demonstrate ways to keep building the capacity for teachers to use good data to inform instruction.

RESEARCH

Grit matters in teaching

Angela Duckworth, the MacArthur ‘genius’ prize-winning researcher who was the first to link the need for students to show grit to be successful, looks to novice teachers in her latest study. After analyzing 461 novice teacher resumes from an unnamed alternative certification program, the researchers found that teachers retained for the duration of a school year had higher grit ratings than teachers who resigned during the school year.

Show me the (retirement) money!

Two new studies show that teacher pensions are unfair and that the problem is getting worse. Pension systems are particularly unfair to urban and charter school teachers, according to a new study of Kansas City and St. Louis from two University of Missouri economists. Bellwether’s Chad Aldeman looks to the big picture, reporting that inequities are in no way confined to Missouri.

 

RESOURCES

State-by-State Evaluation Timeline Briefs

With the whirlwind of activity around teacher evaluation over the last five years, it would be easy to conclude that most states now have teacher evaluation systems that include evidence of student learning and that most teachers across the country now face consequences--both positive and negative--based on their ratings from these systems. While there has indeed been tremendous activity at the policy level, the reality is that most states have barely begun to implement...

 
2013 State Teacher Policy Yearbook: National Summary

The State Teacher Policy Yearbook presents the most detailed analysis available of each state's performance against, and progress toward, a set of specific, research-based teacher policy goals aimed at helping states build a comprehensive policy framework in support of teacher effectiveness.

 
Training our future teachers: Classroom management

This report examines traditional teacher preparation in classroom management, which is a struggle for many teachers, especially new ones. It studies over 100 programs, both elementary and secondary, graduate and undergraduate. The report identifies the classroom management strategies that garner the strongest research support and looks at the extent to which programs teach and offer practice in these strategies in instructional and clinical coursework, as well as in student teaching.

 
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