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Teacher Quality

Teacher knowledge and skill is a fundamental element to improving student achievement—a primary reason the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act emphasizes teacher quality. Required by NCLB, schools must ensure that all teachers in core academic areas (specifically cited in the federal law as English, reading, or language arts; mathematics; science; foreign languages; civics and government; economics; arts; history; and geography) are or will be highly qualified by the end of the 2005-06 school year. There are two exceptions to the timeframe for schools participating in the Rural School Achievement Program, which may allow them until the end of the 2006-07 school year to meet the highly qualified criteria or three years from the date of their hire of new teachers.

Understanding what is needed to be a highly qualified teacher, a few of the major factors to consider in the process are appropriate preservice preparation, developing and implementing effective strategies for recruitment and retention, using available alternative certification when appropriate, mentoring of new teachers over a sufficient period of time, and ongoing focused professional development.

Learning Point Associates has a variety of resources to help policymakers and education leaders understand these factors as well as tools and strategies to meet the requirements for highly qualified teachers.

Learning Point Associates Resources

Improving Student Achievement and Teacher Effectiveness Through Scientifically Based Practices (2004)
Viewpoints Vol. 11 outlines the elements of scientifically based research as they relate to teacher effectiveness and student outcomes. The informative booklet provides an overview of the challenges and opportunities for implementing scientifically based initiatives.

Teacher Quality
The resources on this Web site address some of the most critical issues related to teacher quality: supply and demand; teacher preparation; recruitment and retention; and professional development.

Teaching Quality (TQ) Source
This Web site is designed to help policymakers and educators make informed decisions on teaching quality by identifying policies and initiatives that impact fundamental issues of teaching quality, including teacher preparation, recruitment, and retention.

The Impact of Alternative Certification in the Midwest (2002)
Policy Issues No. 12 focuses on alternative teacher certification in the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL) region and includes a brief literature review, the results of an analysis of the latest Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), and a review of alternative certification programs in the region.

Understanding the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001: Teacher Quality (2004)
This Quick Key discusses the qualifications and characteristics that define highly qualified teachers and paraprofessionals. It also describes alternative routes to certification.

The Voices of Teachers on Teaching
This Web site gives novice classroom teachers the chance to benefit from the expertise of their highly successful peers. It presents audio excerpts from interviews conducted with experienced teachers, who share their solutions to many of the critical instructional and personal issues facing teachers today.

"Teacher Turnover in the Midwest: Who Stays, Leaves, and Moves?" (2000-01)
Policy Issues No. 10 presents an overview of the results of a study on teacher mobility in the Midwest. It analyzes separately four types of novice teachers, including those who (1) remained in the same school all five years ("stayers"), (2) transferred to another school district(s) within the state, but remained in the same state all five years ("movers"), (3) left public school teaching in a state and did not return to teaching ("leavers"), and (4) left public school teaching in a state but returned to teaching ("returnees").

"Improving Reading in America: Are Teachers Prepared?" (2001)
Policy Issues No. 9 discusses how building teacher capacity and expertise in reading will better equip teachers to handle the challenges of the increasingly diverse, multicultural, and multiability needs of students. This edition examines whether it is possible to fill the gaps that now plague the preparation of reading teachers and provides insight into their ongoing professional development.

"Effective Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategies in the Midwest: Where Are They and Do They Work?" (2001)
Policy Issues No. 8 presents an overview of the results of a survey conducted among superintendents in the North Central region which asked districts are having difficulty retaining high-quality teachers, which strategies have been implemented to retain and attract high-quality teachers, and how effective these strategies have been.

Alternative Certification: A Review of Theory and Research (2002)
Alternative teacher certification is one approach to expanding the pool of applicants for teaching positions. This literature synthesis explores the theory and research supporting alternative certification.

Effective Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategies in the Midwest: Who Is Making Use of Them? (2001)
This report summarizes the results of a study conducted among school administrators in the north central region. The survey was designed to collect basic information about which strategies have been adopted and how effective these strategies have been at recruiting and retaining teachers.

Additional Resource

Compendium of Resources on Teacher Quality
This report describes nearly 100 national, regional, and state resources related to teacher quality. The covered topics include general resources, teacher supply and demand, compensation, hiring and recruitment, licensure requirements and credential reciprocity, and pension portability.


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