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. Maine reports little school-level data that can help support the equitable distribution of teacher talent.
Maine 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 and the ratio of new to veteran teachers. Maine also does not report on teacher absenteeism or turnover rates.
Maine does report on the percentage of highly qualified teachers. These data are reported for each school, rather than aggregated by district. However, these data have not been updated since 2008. The state also compares the percentage of highly qualified teachers at high- and low-poverty schools statewide. Maine collects data about teacher experience, but does not make them available to the public.
2009 Highly Qualified Teacher Summary Report http://www.maine.gov/education/hqtp/0809hqtsummary.pdf Maine's State Teacher Quality Equity Plan 2008-2009 http://www.maine.gov/education/hqtp/equityplan030107.pdf
Use a teacher quality index to report publicly 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. Maine 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.
Maine 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.
Ensure that data are current.
It is important to keep data updated and current in order to provide the public with an accurate picture of teacher distribution across schools in districts. Maine should update the data it reports on the percentage of highly qualified teachers at the school level, as it has not done so since 2008.
Maine recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.