2011 Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should publicly report districts' distribution of teacher talent among schools to identify inequities in schools serving disadvantaged children.
Providing comprehensive reporting may be the state's most important role for ensuring the equitable distribution of teachers among schools. Arkansas reports little school-level data that can help support the equitable distribution of teacher talent.
Arkansas does not collect or publicly report most of the data recommended by NCTQ. The state does not provide a school-level teacher quality index that demonstrates the academic backgrounds of a school's teachers as well as the ratio of new to veteran teachers. Arkansas also does not report on teacher absenteeism or turnover rates.
Arkansas does report on the percentage of teachers on emergency credentials and the percentage of highly qualified teachers. Commendably, these data are reported for each school, rather than aggregated by district. The state is also commended for comparing the percentage of highly qualified teachers in high- and low-poverty schools statewide. Arkansas' Highly Qualified Teacher Plan, published in September 2006, reported on the disparities in the percentage of highly qualified teachers relative to minority populations as well as poverty level, but these data have not been updated. This plan also includes data on average years of teaching experience.
Arkansas State Report Card 2010 http://normessasweb.uark.edu/schoolperformance/State/TeacherQ.php Arkansas Highly Qualified Teacher School Report 2010-2011 http://arkansased.org/programs/nclb/hqt.html Arkansas School Report Card 2010 http://normessasweb.uark.edu/schoolperformance/School/Summary.php Arkansas' Highly Qualified Teacher Plan http://www.ed.gov/programs/teacherqual/hqtplans/ar.doc
Use a teacher quality index to publicly report about each school.
A teacher quality index, such as the one developed by the Illinois Education Research Council, with data including teachers' average SAT or ACT scores, the percentage of teachers failing basic skills licensure tests at least once, the selectivity of teachers' undergraduate colleges and the percentage of new teachers, can shine a light on how equitably teachers are distributed both across and within districts. Arkansas should ensure that individual school report cards include such data in a manner that translates these factors into something easily understood by the public, such as a color-coded matrix indicating a school's high or low score.
Publish other data that facilitate comparisons across schools.
Arkansas should collect and report other school-level data that reflect the stability of a school's faculty, including the rates of teacher absenteeism and turnover.
Provide comparative data based on school demographics.
As Arkansas does with highly qualified teachers, the state should provide comparative data for schools with similar poverty and minority populations. This would yield a more comprehensive picture of gaps in the equitable distribution of teachers.
Ensure that data are current.
Although Arkansas has ensured that some of its data are up-to-date, the state should update its Highly Qualified Teacher Plan, which it has not done since 2006.
Arkansas recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.