Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New Teacher Distribution Methods Hold Promise

By Stephen Sawchuk | Ed Week
July 8, 2010

With effective teaching a top policy priority, certain school districts, the federal government, and nonprofit groups are renewing efforts to pilot and study strategies for pairing effective teachers with students in low-performing, high-poverty schools.

The results could offer clues about how to rectify an imbalance in the distribution of the best teachers within districts—a requirement of both the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the 2009 economic-stimulus law that addresses one of K-12 education’s most intractable problems.

The initiatives differ from earlier attempts to equalize teacher talent by using more sophisticated techniques to identify and target top teachers, including the use of value-added data.

They also go beyond narrow transfer incentives to include targeted retention strategies, improved professional development, and a focus on the caliber of the school leaders and peers whom new teachers will be working with every day.

Read on...

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