New Reports Challenge States to Commit to Bold Teacher Effectiveness Reforms in “Race to the Top” Applications
WASHINGTON, DC (November 9, 2009) The Education Trust and The New Teacher Project (TNTP) today released two reports challenging states to focus on bold reforms to increase teacher effectiveness in their applications for federal “Race to the Top” funding.
Fighting for Quality and Equality, Too, by The Education Trust, and How Bold is “Bold”?, by TNTP, outline strategies for ending educational inequity by building a highly effective teacher workforce. The reports include practical strategies for measuring teacher effectiveness, providing all teachers with the support they need to improve, increasing the number of effective teachers for low-income and minority children, retaining effective teachers, and removing those who are persistently ineffective.
The reports come as the Department of Education prepares to issue final guidance on Race to the Top and as states begin to put together their Phase 1 applications.
“For Race to the Top to produce the kind of excellence in education that the administration seeks—to truly live up to its billing as education reform’s ‘moon shot’—state plans must focus squarely on equity from the beginning,” said Kati Haycock, president of The Education Trust. “Proposals that simply aim to improve the overall teaching force are likely to miss the mark for low-income kids and kids of color. But if federal and state leaders commit to investing resources and energy wisely, they don’t have to choose between equity and excellence.”
“This is a race ‘to the top,’ not a race to the starting line,” said Tim Daly, president of The New Teacher Project. “Applications that seek progress in isolated policy areas or that simply meet the minimum Race to the Top requirements will not be competitive, nor will they lead to the kind of transformative change our country needs. These guides provide blueprints for a bold, coherent teacher effectiveness agenda and will help states take full advantage of the once-in-a-generation opportunity that Race to the Top represents.”
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About The Education Trust
The Education Trust promotes high academic achievement for all students at all levels—pre-kindergarten through college. We work alongside parents, educators, and community and business leaders across the country in transforming schools and colleges into institutions that serve all students well. Lessons learned in these efforts, together with unflinching data analysis, shape our state and national policy agendas. Our goal is to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement that consign far too many young people—especially those who are black, Latino, American Indian, or from low-income families—to lives on the margins of the American mainstream. For more information, visit www.edtrust.org.
About The New Teacher Project
The New Teacher Project (TNTP) helps school districts and states fulfill the promise of public education by ensuring that all students—especially those from high-need communities—get excellent teachers. A national nonprofit organization founded by teachers, TNTP recognizes that although teachers matter more than any other school factor in student success, the nation’s education systems are not aligned with the goal of an effective teacher in every classroom. In response, TNTP develops customized programs and policy interventions that enable education leaders to diagnose their teacher quality challenges and find, develop and keep great teachers. Since its inception in 1997, TNTP has recruited or trained approximately 33,000 teachers—mainly through its highly selective Teaching Fellows™ programs—benefiting an estimated 4.8 million students. TNTP has also released a series of acclaimed studies of the policies and practices that affect the quality of the nation’s teacher workforce, most recently including The Widget Effect: Our National Failure to Acknowledge and Act on Differences in Teacher Effectiveness (2009). Today TNTP is active in more than 25 cities, including Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, New Orleans, New York, and Oakland, among others. For more information, please visit www.tntp.org.