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Knowledge From the Field

Improving the Distribution of Teachers in Low-Performing High Schools

Published: April 2008

Publisher(s): Alliance for Excellent Education

Funder(s): MetLife Foundation

View Report (18 pages; 287KB; PDF)

Area of Focus: Teacher Quality

Abstract: There is an enormous disparity in teacher quality between the low- and high-performing school districts nationwide, and the problem is perpetuated because low-performing school districts have particular difficulty recruiting and hiring good candidates. The report outlines key recommendations for improving teacher recruitment practices and retaining quality teachers. It also addresses the role that the federal government can play.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

= To more effectively recruit high quality teachers, school districts should improve preparation and professional development, increase attendance in quality alternative programs such as Teach for America, develop “Grow-Your-Own Programs” to attract teachers from the community, improve the pay scales, and streamline hiring practices.

= To better retain quality teachers, school districts should improve working conditions, provide comprehensive induction, target collaboration and professional development, and promote career paths and teacher leadership.

= Federal policies should target building and using data systems, strengthening teacher preparation, ensuring equity in teacher quality, and maximizing federal dollars.

Geographic Focus : National

Subjects/Keywords : Teacher quality; low-performing schools, accountability; educational standards; achievement gaps

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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