Washington, D.C. -- A new analysis by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) demonstrates that more states are recognizing the importance of leadership roles for teachers, signaling that state policy is reflecting teachers' voices. Thirty-five states now have formal teacher leadership policies, with a net of eight additional states adopting formal teacher leadership policies in the past two years.
Even though the implementation of any teacher leadership policy happens at the school district level, policies at the state level can catalyze and legitimize teacher leadership opportunities, providing districts with the runway to implement meaningful teacher leader pathways and latitude to reallocate funding for such purposes.
Among the 35 states that have formal policies on the books, 21 contain specific references to at least one of the two critical components of an effective teacher leadership framework: additional compensation or non-monetary incentives, such as a reduction in course load. Commendably, 12 of these 35 address both.
The remaining 14 states' policies appear to be more aspirational in nature, as they do not explicitly address the need to direct resources to additional compensation or non-monetary incentives.
"We must find ways to make it possible for teachers to grow, learn new skills, and expand their impact without leaving the classroom," said Elizabeth Ross, Managing Director of Teacher Policy for NCTQ. "It is gratifying to see this issue rise to the state level."
The 35 states that currently maintain formal teacher leadership policies represent a net increase of eight states since 2017, with 11 states having adopted and three states discontinuing formal policies over this time period. This statewide recognition of the importance of leadership roles for classroom teachers indicates that we are moving toward a national consensus that our best teachers should have opportunities to remain in the classroom and assume leadership roles.
States with a formal teacher leadership policy that recognizes the need for both additional compensation and non-monetary incentives (such as reduced course loads): Arkansas*, Colorado*, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York*, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Utah (12).
States with a formal teacher leadership policy that recognizes the need for either additional compensation or non-monetary incentives (such as reduced course loads): District of Columbia*, Maryland*, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina*, South Dakota*, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin (9).
States with a formal teacher leadership policy that does not recognize the need for additional compensation or non-monetary incentives (such as reduced course loads): Alabama, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine*, Massachusetts*, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina*, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia* (14).
States with no formal teacher leadership policy as of 2019: Alaska, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Indiana**, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Nevada, Rhode Island, Texas**, Vermont, and Wyoming** (16).
*State adopted its formal teacher leadership policy between 2017 and 2019.
**State discontinued its formal teacher leadership policy between 2017 and 2019.
See the full data and analyses of teacher leadership policies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the NCTQ Databurst: Teacher Leadership Opportunities: https://www.nctq.org/publications/NCTQ-Databurst:-Teacher-Leadership-Opportunities.
To schedule an interview with NCTQ, please contact Samantha Jacobs at (202) 393-0020 ext. 714.
About the National Council on Teacher Quality: The National Council on Teacher Quality is a nonpartisan research and policy group, committed to modernizing the teaching profession and based on the belief that all children deserve effective teachers. We recognize that it is not teachers who bear responsibility for their profession's many challenges, but the institutions with the greatest authority and influence over teachers. More information about NCTQ can be found on our website, www.nctq.org.