Education A Washington Roundup

GAO: Districts Show Progress on Teacher Qualifications

By Bess Keller — November 29, 2005 1 min read

High-poverty school districts appear to be giving greater priority than they have in the past to teacher quality, based on how they used federal money available for that purpose, concludes a report last week from the Government Accountability Office.

Yet little of the money spent on teacher professional development from a $3 billion annual grant pool that is part of the appropriation for the federal No Child Left Behind Act is being targeted to specific groups, such as teachers in high-poverty schools, according to the Nov. 21 report. The GAO visited 11 high-poverty districts to get an idea of how local education officials are using Title II money.

The report also notes that that while states have improved their ability to track the proportion of classes being taught by teachers who meet the federal “highly qualified” standard, the data remain imperfect.

The GAO recommends that the Department of Education make more accessible its Web-based information on the teacher-quality provision of the No Child Left Behind law since some federal resources for improving the teacher corps were going unrecognized by state and local officials.