Teaching Profession Report Roundup

Teacher Qualifications

By Bess Keller — April 15, 2008 1 min read

“Improving the Distribution of Teachers in Low-Performing High Schools”

Improving the teaching force in the nation’s low-performing high schools will be, if anything, more challenging than closing the “teacher gap” at other levels of schooling, in part because out-of-field teaching is more common in high schools, says a policy brief from a group advocating for increased high school graduation.

Schools and districts need to address the problem on multiple fronts, according to the Alliance for Excellent Education, including increasing the pool of teachers well-prepared for the subjects they teach and the problems encountered in low-performing high schools; changing current ways of recruiting and hiring; reforming teacher pay and professional opportunities; and addressing the working conditions that drive teachers away.

The federal government can help by fostering better tracking of teacher effectiveness, holding states to the standard of as many qualified teachers in rich schools as in poor ones, and insisting on and helping with better teacher preparation for low-performing schools.

A version of this article appeared in the April 16, 2008 edition of Education Week

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