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2013 State Teacher Policy Yearbook: National Summary

January 27, 2014

This project arose from a simple premise. Despite what many -- including, at times, the states themselves -- have argued, state governments have the strongest impact on the work of America's more than three and a half million public school teachers. With that as our framework, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) began in 2007 what has become an annual 360-degree analysis and encyclopedic presentation of every policy states have on their books that affects the quality of teachers, specifically state efforts to shape teacher preparation, licensing, evaluation and compensation. Our goal has been to provide research-based, practical, cost-neutral recommendations to states on the best ways to improve the teaching profession in their states.

Connect the Dots: Using Evaluations of Teacher Effectiveness to Inform Policy and Practice

October 30, 2013

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) has long advocated that any meaningful understanding of "effective" teaching must be rooted in results for kids. Whatever else they accomplish in the classroom, effective teachers improve student achievement. It seems like commonsense. Yet, until recently, it has been an exceptional way of thinking about teacher quality, totally out of step with teacher policy across the states. As part of the annual State Teacher Policy Yearbook, NCTQ has systematically collected and analyzed state policies on teacher preparation, training, retention, compensation and other personnel policies. In this paper we provide: 1. A detailed and up-to-date lay of the land on teacher evaluation policies across the 50 states and the District of Columbia Public Schools; 2. An in-depth look at policy in states promising ambitious teacher evaluation systems (states requiring student growth and achievement to be a significant or the most significant factor in teacher ratings), including states' efforts to "connect the dots" and use teacher evaluation results in meaningful ways to inform policy and practice; 3. A compilation of some of the important lessons learned, pitfalls and successes states have experienced on the road to improving teacher evaluation systems.

No One Benefits: How Teacher Pension Systems Are Failing Both Teachers And Taxpayers

December 13, 2012

A 50-state look at the funding crisis in the pension systems that serve teachers, including features that make them so costly and elements that aren't fair, advantageous or beneficial to all teachers.

Teacher Quality Roadmap: Improving Policies and Practices in LAUSD

June 1, 2011

Examines how Los Angeles Unified School District and state policies on teacher assignment, evaluations, tenure, compensation, and work schedule facilitate or hinder improvements in quality. Lists recommendations, including removing seniority preference.

Race to the Top: Colorado May Be Used to High Altitudes But Can It Compete in Race to the Top?

August 31, 2009

Outlines expected requirements for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's funding to the states for education reform. Offers strategies for improving teacher quality in Colorado, as well as data infrastructure, low-performing schools, and standards.

State Teacher Policy Yearbook

June 27, 2007

Examines the policies that determine how teachers are prepared, certified, hired, paid, evaluated, encouraged and dismissed -- in all fifty states and the District of Columbia -- and offers recommendations for improvement.