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. Washington reports little school-level data that can help support the equitable distribution of teacher talent.
Washington 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. Washington also does not report on teacher absenteeism or turnover rates.
Washington does report on the percentage of teachers on emergency credentials, the average years of teaching experience 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 at high- and low-poverty schools.
Washington State School Report Card 2009-2010 http://reportcard.ospi.k12.wa.us/summary.aspx?year=2009-10
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. Washington 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.
Washington 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 Washington 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.
Washington recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.