Teaching Profession

Quality Counts Report Examines Teacher Quality

By Lynn Olson — January 12, 2000 1 min read

Most states do not ensure that all their teachers have the knowledge and skills needed to instruct students, according to Quality Counts 2000: Who Should Teach?

The fourth annual edition of Education Week‘s 50-state report card on public education focuses on state efforts to recruit, screen, and retain competent teachers. The 166-page report was scheduled for release Jan. 12 at a press conference in Washington.

It includes results from an exhaustive national survey on how states recruit, test, and license beginning teachers. The survey also examined state efforts to support and evaluate new teachers in the classroom.

“The good news,” said Virginia B. Edwards, the editor of Quality Counts and Education Week, “is that many states have begun to focus on issues of teacher quality. Teaching matters for student performance, and lawmakers seem to be getting the message.”

Special Analyses

In addition, Quality Counts 2000 includes findings from two special studies conducted for the report. A 50- state salary analysis, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, examined the salary gap between teachers and other college graduates, both for those just starting their careers and middle-aged professionals. The study includes private school teachers, who make up 12 percent of K- 12 teachers nationwide.

For Quality Counts 2000, Education Week also conducted a special analysis of the first federal study to follow college graduates into the workplace. In the U.S. Department of Education’s Baccalaureate and Beyond study, researchers surveyed 10,080 students who earned bachelor’s degrees in 1992-93, and conducted follow-up surveys of those people in 1993-94 and again in 1996-97. The findings shed light on who enters teaching, who does not, and why people leave.

Finally, Quality Counts continues to chronicle the progress toward education reform in the states. Report cards on each state summarize how they are doing in several key performance areas.

Quality Counts is produced in collaboration with the Philadelphia-based Pew Charitable Trusts. Education Week subscribers will receive their copies, dated Jan. 13, by mail.

A version of this article appeared in the January 12, 2000 edition of Education Week as Quality Counts Report Examines Teacher Quality

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