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Education Recovery and Reinvestment Center

State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) Assurances

Teacher Effectiveness and Equitable Distribution Under ARRA

Updates, New Guidance, and News

Effectiveness and Equitable Distribution Requirements

ARRA requires governors to submit applications to the U.S. Department of Education for funds under the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF). In doing so, they must provide a number of assurances. The following assurance addresses teacher effectiveness and equitable distribution, and this section seeks to provide supports to states as they complete their applications. According to ARRA:

The State will take actions to improve teacher effectiveness and comply with section 1111(b)(8)(C) of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 6311(b)(8)(C)) in order to address inequities in the distribution of highly qualified teachers between high- and low-poverty schools, and to ensure that low-income and minority children are not taught at higher rates than other children by inexperienced, unqualified, or out-of-field teachers. [ARRA Section 14005(d)(2)]

Following are strategies that states can consider in meeting the dual requirements of improving teacher effectiveness and achieving equitable distribution of highly qualified teachers.

Defining and evaluating teacher effectiveness. In order to determine whether state actions are functioning to improve teacher effectiveness, states must first create a definition of teacher effectiveness that highlights those aspects of teacher activities and responsibilities of value in the state.

Ensuring equitable distribution of highly qualified teachers. Addressing the issue of equitable teacher distribution requires attention to both (1) increasing the number of teachers applying and available for hire by these schools and (2) establishing a culture of support and development in schools that encourages quality teachers to remain. Strategies include the following:

Systemic Planning, Strategic Action

Defining and Evaluating Teacher Effectiveness

Begin by identifying teacher activities and responsibilities of value in your state. The Communication Framework for Measuring Teacher Quality and Effectiveness: Bringing Coherence to the Conversation can help you get started. This communication framework was developed to promote effective dialogue about the measurement of teacher quality and effectiveness.

Once a state has defined teacher activities and responsibilities, it will help you determine the types of evaluation methods to use.

The TQ Center, operated by Learning Point Associates, offers the following resources to assist state efforts in both defining teacher effectiveness and creating and implementing a quality evaluation system:

Approaches to Evaluating Teacher Effectiveness: A Research Synthesis examines how teacher effectiveness is currently measured and provides practical guidance for evaluating teacher effectiveness.

Teacher Quality and Student Achievement: Making the Most of Recent Research Adobe PDF Icon highlights the associations between teacher quality and student achievement.

The Link Between Teacher Quality and Student Outcomes: A Research Synthesis explores the relationship between teacher quality and student learning to identify which teacher qualifications and characteristics are related to student learning.

Improving Instruction Through Effective Teacher Evaluation: Options for States and Districts Adobe PDF Icon discusses the measures used in teacher evaluation and focuses on their strengths, limitations, and current use.

TQ Source Tips & Tools: Identifying and Supporting Highly Effective Teachers is a compendium of practical strategies and resources that presents key issues about identifying how highly effective leaders support teachers and about identifying professional contexts to support highly effective teachers.

The TQ Center offers the following resources that can help states in their efforts to increase the number of teachers prepared and available for hire in at-risk schools and districts:

TQ Center Tips and Tools. A collection of strategies and resources that address various aspects of teacher quality.

Lessons Learned: New Teachers Talk About Their Jobs, Challenges, and Long-Range Plans Adobe PDF Icon (2007). This paper focuses on new teachers in high-needs schools, comparing the perspectives of those from traditional teacher education with those from three alternate-route programs: Teach for America, Troops to Teachers, and The New Teacher Project.

The TQ Center has additional resources advancing strategies to increase retention of teachers:

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