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. Rhode Island reports some school-level data that can help support the equitable distribution of teacher talent.
Rhode Island collects and publicly reports some of the data recommended by NCTQ. Although the state does not provide a school-level teacher quality index that demonstrates the academic backgrounds of a school's teachers, Rhode Island does report on the percentage of teachers on emergency certification, the percentage of classes taught by highly qualified teachers, the percentage of classes taught by teachers in the field of education for less than one year and teacher retention. Commendably, these data are reported for each school, rather than aggregated by district. Rhode Island compares the percentage of highly qualified teachers in high- and low-poverty schools in the state report card.
Rhode Island School Recruiting and Supporting Teachers http://infoworks.ride.uri.edu/2009/pdf/recruit/21111H-recr.pdf Information Works 2009 http://infoworks.ride.uri.edu/2009/state/infoworks2009-full.pdf
Use a teacher quality index to report publicly about each school.
Rhode Island is commended for reporting more school-level data than most states. However, the state should utilize a teacher quality index with such data as with 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. This can shine a light on how equitably teachers are distributed both across and within districts. Rhode Island 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.
Rhode Island should collect and report other school-level data that reflect the stability of a school's faculty, including the rate of teacher absenteeism.
Provide comparative data based on school demographics.
As Rhode Island 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.
Rhode Island recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.