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The Feds Are Stepping In
posted by: Alana | November 18, 2014, 11:51 PM   


Over the course of the past eight years (since 2006), states have been attempting to focus on closing the disparities between effective teachers and poor and minority students. As reserach has shown, quality teachers are the number one factor in closing achievement gaps.

Unfortunately the reality indicates that despite this recognition, not much has changed.


That’s why Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, Deborah S. Delisle took action this week when she issued a letter to state superintendents stating that this concern needed to be revisited by this upcoming June.

Here’s the plan Secretary Delisle is proposing:

  • Each state will be receiving a report indicating their rates of teacher experience, certification, absenteeism, and salary by school, along with data on student access to taxpayer-funded preschool and advanced courses in math and science.
  • States are being advised to compare and reevaluate teacher evaluations as they correlate with the schools to which they are assigned and are now going to be required to ensure equal distribution.
  • Policies will be made to make federal funding contingent on districts complying with the guidance.

And while many stakeholders are on board with this move, education advocates and school administrators are pushing back saying that it could actually limit progress.

They argue that experience does not necessarily correlate with effectiveness and that the added red tape could turn into a focus on checking bureaucratic boxes as opposed to instituting real change and seeing real progress on behalf of kids. Simply put, this measure is not enough.

Instead, superintendents like Joshua Starr of Montgomery County Public Schools are proposing counter measures such as creating supportive school cultures.

What measures do YOU think are needed to address this issue? How can we ensure every student has access to an excellent teacher?

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