2011 State Teacher Policy Yearbook
Through the din of cheering, back-patting, and high-fiving from school-choice advocates over their legislative successes in 2011, it’s been hard to hear about states’ recent improvements to teacher policy. This fifth edition of the National Council on Teacher Quality’s report on state teacher-quality policies lends a megaphone to this cause. (And at more than 8,000 pages—150 pages or more per state—it’s quite the hefty and detailed megaphone.) It finds that twenty-eight jurisdictions have improved (on NCTQ’s criteria) over the past two years. Indiana clocked the greatest gains, followed by Minnesota and Michigan. Of the states that improved, twenty-four now consider student achievement as part of teacher evals (up from fifteen in 2009). Thirteen states can now dismiss teachers because of classroom ineffectiveness and twelve states weigh teacher effectiveness—not just seniority—in rewarding tenure. In 2009, the highest grade issued was a middling C (to Florida). This report sees NCTQ’s first B-level grades ever issued: Top-ranking Florida earned a straight B, while Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Tennessee each garnered B-minuses. Mostly good news, but there is yet more to be done. Even now, just thirteen states allow teachers to be dismissed because of classroom ineffectiveness. And only twelve weigh teacher effectiveness when conferring tenure. There’s much more data to parse in each of the states’ individual reports—and the yearbook’s practical policy recommendations should be read by all.
2011 State Teacher Policy Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: National Council on Teacher Quality, January 2012.)
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