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. Nebraska reports little school-level data that can help support the equitable distribution of teacher talent.
Nebraska 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. Nebraska also does not report on teacher absenteeism or turnover rates.
Nebraska does report on the percentage of highly qualified teachers. Commendably, these data are reported for each school, rather than aggregated by district. The state reports on the average years of teaching experience for each school. The state also reports on emergency credentials. However, these data are reported at the district, rather than school, level. Nebraska's Equity Plan, updated in April 2010, looks at the poverty percentage, minority percentage and the percentage of teachers with less than three years of teaching experience in each district. The state's website provides the option for school-level comparisons of faculty experience as well as other factors.
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. Nebraska 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.
Nebraska 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.
Providing comparative data for schools with similar poverty and minority populations would yield an even more comprehensive picture of gaps in the equitable distribution of teachers.
Report data at school level.
Nebraska should ensure that it is reporting all currently collected data at the school level, rather than aggregated by district.
Nebraska was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced this analysis.