Education Commission of the States • 700 Broadway, Suite 1200 • Denver, CO 80203-3460 • 303.299.3600 • Fax: 303.296.8332 • www.ecs.org

Teaching Quality (TQ)
NCLB Reauthorization

To better inform the national debate on No Child Left Behind (NCLB) reauthorization, ECS collected and synthesized recommendations by national organizations to improve the federal law.

ECS' database is organized around 16 issue areas that captured most recommendations. Some organizations did not offer recommendations for all issues, at least according to our analysis. And several recommendations appear more than once since they applied to multiple issue areas.

The summary and full text of all organizations' original recommendations for Teaching Quality (TQ) are listed in this report. Please see the main page for additional reports and sources for the database.

Highlights
(See Abbreviation Key at end of table)

Organizations that addressed this issue: 12 of 15
AFT; BCSA; Comm. NCLB; CCSSO; ECS; Ed Trust; FEA; NAESP; NASSP; NCSL; NEA; and NGA

Organizations that did not address this issue: 3 of 15
AASA; NASBE; and NSBA

Comments
Teaching quality was the third most popular issue for NCLB reauthorization recommendations, behind Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and Assessment, Standards and Curriculum (ASC). Organizations focused their proposals on high quality professional development; flexibility for meeting highly qualified requirements for special education, middle school and multiple-subject teachers; and incentives to recruit and retain qualified teachers in hard-to-staff schools and high-need subjects.



Visit ECS' Database on NCLB Reauthorization main page for more information, explanations and access to organizations' original reports. Please note that ECS plans to expand the database as more information becomes available.

Database Last Updated: July 2007

This database was created and compiled by Mary Fulton, ECS policy analyst.
For questions and comments: 303.299.3679 or mfulton@ecs.org

NCLB Reauthorization : American Association of School Administrators (AASA)
Capacity Building, Innovation and Research & Development (CIRD)
Teaching Quality (TQ)
TQ 1 - Summary of Recommendation No recommendations identified for this issue.
Parent and Community Involvement (CPI)

NCLB Reauthorization : American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
Capacity Building, Innovation and Research & Development (CIRD)
Teaching Quality (TQ)
TQ 1 - Summary of Recommendation Require district incentives to attract and retain qualified teachers in low performing schools.
TQ 1 - Full Recommendation

Require districts to develop incentives to attract and retain qualified teachers in low performing schools, including increased compensation, improved working conditions, meaningful professional development, a safe environment and other instructional supports.

Rationale: The data on school district reform shows that teachers are attracted to—and continue to teach in—academically challenged schools when appropriate supports are provided to them.

TQ 2 - Summary of Recommendation Provide research-based professional development and curricular supports for teachers and paraprofessionals.
TQ 2 - Full Recommendation Refocus NCLB on improving the quality of instruction by incorporating research-based professional development and curricular supports for teachers and paraprofessionals.

Rationale: Professional development should be systemic, embedded, teacher-driven, focused on student needs, based on state or district standards, and inclusive of opportunities for practitioner input into its design and delivery.
TQ 3 - Summary of Recommendation Require inservice and preservice training and professional development for paraprofessionals.
TQ 3 - Full Recommendation

Require that paraprofessionals be provided inservice and preservice training and professional development that fully prepares them to support instruction in the classroom.

Rationale: NCLB currently provides three options for meeting education requirements, but fails to mandate the delivery of, or participation in, professional development for paraprofessionals. Thus, recently hired and new paraprofessionals, despite the fact that they have acquired a certain number of college credits or passed a specific test, still do not receive the training and professional development they need.

TQ 4 - Summary of Recommendation Revise highly qualified requirements to consider special education, middle school and other teachers.
TQ 4 - Full Recommendation Revise highly qualified requirements to take into consideration the unique situation of special education teachers and middle school teachers, among others.
Parent and Community Involvement (CPI)

NCLB Reauthorization : Business Coalition for Student Achievement (BCSA)
Capacity Building, Innovation and Research & Development (CIRD)
Teaching Quality (TQ)
TQ 1 - Summary of Recommendation Define qualified teachers with focus on "highly effective teachers."
TQ 1 - Full Recommendation

Shift current definition of "highly qualified teachers" to a focus on "highly effective teachers."

TQ 2 - Summary of Recommendation Ensure principal and teacher policies improve student achievement and prepare them for postsecondary education and work. Require institutions responsible for educator effectiveness to be evaluated.
TQ 2 - Full Recommendation Align principal and teacher preparation, recruitment, induction, retention and professional development with the knowledge and skills needed to improve student performance and to enable all students to graduate from high school ready for postsecondary education and the workplace. Require the institutions and other entities that receive funding for these purposes to evaluate their impact on increased educator effectiveness.

TQ 3 - Summary of Recommendation

Institute performance-based pay to improve student achievement and recruit principals and teachers to high need subjects and schools.

TQ 3 - Full Recommendation

Institute performance- and market-based pay programs that: reward educators whose performance contributes to substantial growth in student achievement, attract and retain effective math and science teachers and adjunct faculty, and draw effective teachers and leaders to high-need schools.

TQ 4 - Summary of Recommendation

Base principal and teacher evaluations primarily on improved student performance.

TQ 4 - Full Recommendation Develop teacher and principal evaluation systems based primarily on improved student performance.
TQ 5 - Summary of Recommendation

Implement policies and practices to quickly and fairly remove ineffective educators.

TQ 5 - Full Recommendation

Implement policies and practices to quickly and fairly remove ineffective educators.

Parent and Community Involvement (CPI)

NCLB Reauthorization : Commission on No Child Left Behind (Comm. NCLB)
Capacity Building, Innovation and Research & Development (CIRD)
Teaching Quality (TQ)
TQ 1 - Summary of Recommendation Assess teacher quality on effectiveness to raise student achievement rather than just on qualifications, and change definition to Highly Qualified and Effective Teacher (HQET).
TQ 1 - Full Recommendation Assess the quality of teachers based on their effectiveness in raising student achievement rather than just by their qualifications for entering the classroom. This requires all teachers to produce student learning gains and receive positive principal or teacher peer review evaluations to meet the new definition of a Highly Qualified and Effective Teacher (HQET).
TQ 2 - Summary of Recommendation

Guarantee professional development to teachers at risk of not attaining new Highly Qualified and Effective Teacher (HQET) status.

TQ 2 - Full Recommendation Give guaranteed professional development to teachers who need it most. Teachers who, after two years, are at risk of not attaining the new Highly Qualified and Effective (HQET) status will receive high-quality professional development specifically designed to address their needs.
TQ 3 - Summary of Recommendation Focus teacher and principal professional development funding on activities proven to strengthen teacher instruction.
TQ 3 - Full Recommendation Focus No Child Left Behind’s (NCLB) specific teacher and principal professional development funding—Title II of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)—on activities that are proven to strengthen the ability of teachers to provide better instruction.
TQ 4 - Summary of Recommendation

Include principals in needs assessments for teachers and principals before allocating Title II funds.

TQ 4 - Full Recommendation Identify needs of principals and teachers more accurately by requiring principals to be included in the needs assessment conducted before allocating Title II funding.
TQ 5 - Summary of Recommendation

Require all schools to have similar expenditures for teacher salaries and comparable numbers of Highly Qualified and Effective Teachers (HQET).

TQ 5 - Full Recommendation Ensure quality teachers for all students by requiring that all schools—Title I and non-Title I—have similar expenditures for teacher salaries and comparable numbers of Highly Qualified and Effective Teachers (HQET).
TQ 6 - Summary of Recommendation Allow principals in Title I schools to refuse transfer of teachers who are not highly qualified and effective.
TQ 6 - Full Recommendation Grant principals in Title I schools the ability to refuse the transfer of a teacher into his or her school if that teacher has not obtained Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) or Highly Qualified and Effective (HQET) status. Give principals more control over who teaches in their school will empower them to build a qualified, effective and cohesive team of teachers.
TQ 7 - Summary of Recommendation Require higher education institutions to set goals for increasing teacher graduates for shortage areas.
TQ 7 - Full Recommendation Require institutions of higher education to establish goals for increasing the number of graduates qualified to teach in shortage areas.
TQ 8 - Summary of Recommendation

Require higher education institutions to set goals for linking instruction with needs of schools and demands teachers will face.

TQ 8 - Full Recommendation Prepare teachers well by requiring institutions of higher education to set goals for linking their instruction with the needs of schools and the demands new teachers will face in the classroom.
TQ 9 - Summary of Recommendation Require districts with high teacher turnover to develop comprehensive plans to recruit and retain effective teachers, including from nontraditional routes.
TQ 9 - Full Recommendation Require school districts with high rates of teacher turnover to develop plans to recruit and retain effective teachers—including individuals from nontraditional routes. These plans would require districts to consider how to effectively mentor new teachers, use bonus pay to attract the most successful teachers and those in subject shortage areas, improve working conditions and develop multiple career paths.
TQ 10 - Summary of Recommendation

Create incentives for certification and licensing reciprocity agreements across states and study pension portability.

TQ 10 - Full Recommendation

Remove barriers for teachers who wish to teach in other states by creating incentives for states to make certification and licensing reciprocal across states, and by conducting a study of pension portability.

TQ 11 - Summary of Recommendation Require a 12th-grade state assessment to determine performance gains, teacher and principal effectiveness and preparation for college and work.
TQ 11 - Full Recommendation Ensure continuous achievement of high school students by requiring states to administer an additional assessment in grade 12.

This 12th grade assessment will create a useful measure of a high school’s effectiveness in preparing students for life after high school and make possible the inclusion of growth calculations in AYP for high schools and Highly Qualified and Effective measurements for high school teachers and principals. This assessment would not be the sole determinant of whether a student graduates and receives a diploma. States can consider awarding college credit in state-supported colleges and universities for students who show mastery of college-level material on this assessment.
TQ 12 - Summary of Recommendation

Require states to establish teacher certification endorsement for those spending more than 25% of time instructing ELL students.

TQ 12 - Full Recommendation Ensure that individuals who teach English language learner (ELL) students receive the training and support they need by requiring states to establish an endorsement for teacher certification for those who spend more than 25% of their teaching time providing instruction to ELL students.
Parent and Community Involvement (CPI)

NCLB Reauthorization : Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)
Capacity Building, Innovation and Research & Development (CIRD)
Teaching Quality (TQ)
TQ 1 - Summary of Recommendation Continuously improve teaching force through high quality professional development and multiple pathways to teaching expertise.
TQ 1 - Full Recommendation Provide incentives for states to create the best teaching force in the world, by continuously improving teacher quality, by supporting best-in-class professional development, and by encouraging use of multiple individual pathways to pedagogical and subject matter expertise.
TQ 2 - Summary of Recommendation Count newly hired teachers as “highly qualified” when meet primary subject standards and on track to meet state HOUSSE requirements.
TQ 2 - Full Recommendation Count newly hired teachers (particularly rural, special education, and ELL teachers) as “highly qualified” when they meet standards in their primary subject areas and are on a pathway (of no more than three years) with regard to additional subjects based on a high, objective, uniform state standard of evaluation (HOUSSE).
TQ 3 - Summary of Recommendation Count teachers of students with disabilities and ELL students as “highly qualified” if they work with qualified teachers, and offer multiple paths to and measures of subject expertise.
TQ 3 - Full Recommendation Count teachers of students with disabilities and English language learners (ELL) students as “highly qualified” where they work in close consultation with another teacher who is highly qualified and offer alternative pathways and multiple measures of subject matter expertise (including HOUSSE).
TQ 4 - Summary of Recommendation Provide incentives for teacher performance systems based on student growth and successful teachers to serve in challenging schools.
TQ 4 - Full Recommendation Provide incentives for (but not require) performance systems based on growth in student achievement as one of multiple measures (such as continued support for the Teacher Incentive Fund), and provide incentives to help ensure that experienced, successful teachers serve in the most challenging schools.
Parent and Community Involvement (CPI)

NCLB Reauthorization : Education Commission of the States (ECS)
Capacity Building, Innovation and Research & Development (CIRD)
Teaching Quality (TQ)
TQ 1 - Summary of Recommendation

Ensure states' HOUSSE plans meet letter and spirit of NCLB and set rigorous teacher quality requirements.

TQ 1 - Full Recommendation

Strengthen highly qualified teacher requirements. States must ensure their High Objective Uniform State Standard of Evaluation (HOUSSE) plans meet both the letter and the spirit of the law. In many instances, states have set high standards for veteran teachers, but they are accompanied by less rigorous provisions that provide a “trap door” through which teachers can escape the intent of the law.

TQ 2 - Summary of Recommendation Provide clear, consistent and timely guidance regarding highly qualified teachers provisions.
TQ 2 - Full Recommendation Require Education Department to provide clear, consistent and timely guidance regarding compliance with the highly qualified teachers provisions of NCLB.
TQ 3 - Summary of Recommendation Require states to provide accurate and accessible teacher quality data.
TQ 3 - Full Recommendation Insist that states provide accurate and accessible data on the qualifications and competence of teachers.
Parent and Community Involvement (CPI)

NCLB Reauthorization : Education Trust (Ed Trust)
Capacity Building, Innovation and Research & Development (CIRD)
Teaching Quality (TQ)
TQ 1 - Summary of Recommendation Require states to report additional teacher qualification, distribution and attrition information for districts with highest and lowest minority and low-income student enrollment. Require annual reports of district/school needs for qualified teachers, actions to close teacher quality gaps and efforts to measure teacher effectiveness.
TQ 1 - Full Recommendation Enhance public reporting of teacher qualifications and teacher distribution patterns. Require states to report annually a comparison of the following indicators in schools and districts in the highest and lowest quartiles of enrollment of minority and low-income students:
  • Percentage of first-year teachers
  • Percentage of first- and second-year teachers
  • Percentage of teachers on emergency credentials or state certification waivers
  • Percentage of classes taught by teachers who are not highly qualified
  • Annual teacher attrition rates.

In addition, require states and school districts to annually conduct and publish an analysis of districts and schools’ need for highly qualified teachers and experienced teachers, as well as the actions being taken to ensure that low-income and minority students are accorded their fair share of such teachers. The report will include the progress the state is making in its ability to measure, with objective measures of student learning growth, the effectiveness of individual teachers.

TQ 2 - Summary of Recommendation Require districts to use Title II funds to address inequities in teacher distribution and support principals' efforts to boost teacher quality.
TQ 2 - Full Recommendation

Focus NCLB Title II funds on high-poverty schools by:

  • Requiring that districts use all of their Title II district-level funds to address inequities in teacher distribution until an equitable distribution is achieved
  • Applying the Title I district-to-school ranking and allocation rules to 50% of the Title II funds to provide principals in high-poverty schools with additional resources to support their efforts to boost teacher quality.
TQ 3 - Summary of Recommendation Prohibit transfer of Title II funds for teacher and principal quality to other Titles under NCLB.
TQ 3 - Full Recommendation Prohibit the transfer of Title II funds for high quality teachers and principals to other Titles of No Child Left Behind.
TQ 4 - Summary of Recommendation Close High Objective Uniform State System of Evaluation (HOUSSE) loophole by clarifying that this provision applies to veteran, not novice, teachers.
TQ 4 - Full Recommendation Close the High Objective Uniform State System of Evaluation (HOUSSE) loophole in NCLB by clarifying that this provision applies only to veteran, not novice, teachers.
TQ 5 - Summary of Recommendation Require states and districts to assess distribution of qualified teachers across schools, develop plans and goals to address inequities and publish progress reports.
TQ 5 - Full Recommendation Require states and districts to assess, at the district and school levels, the distribution of teachers who are highly qualified, novice or teaching on emergency credentials. States and districts would be required to develop plans, with annual measurable goals, to redress inequities in the distribution of such teachers and to annually publish reports on their progress against their goals.
TQ 6 - Summary of Recommendation Withhold Title II funds from states not making progress toward equitable distribution of teachers and require distribution of funds to schools/districts with most acute needs.
TQ 6 - Full Recommendation Require the Secretary of Education, after three years, to withhold Title II funds from states not making significant progress toward an equitable distribution of teachers and require states to redistribute the funds directly to the schools and districts identified as having the most acute needs.
TQ 7 - Summary of Recommendation Allow principals in low-performing schools to refuse “involuntary” teacher transfers.
TQ 7 - Full Recommendation Allow principals of schools identified as “In Need of Comprehensive Improvement” to refuse any teachers through “involuntary” transfer.
TQ 8 - Summary of Recommendation Encourage states to use student achievement measures to evaluate teacher effectiveness. Establish Incentive Fund to provide state grants for teacher evaluation, professional development, assignment and performance-based compensation initiatives.
TQ 8 - Full Recommendation Encourage states to use objective measures of growth in student achievement to evaluate teacher effectiveness by:
  • Establish a competitive grant fund to support states in the implementation of systems to evaluate teacher performance based on objective measures of growth in student learning and to use those systems to evaluate professional development activities and to reform policies governing teacher compensation, assignment and tenure. Grants would only be awarded to states in which objective measures of student learning growth will be primary indicators in proposed activities.
The Incentive Fund would be funded at $500 million the first year ($300 million in new funds and $200 million in Title V funds), $600 million in the second year, $700 million in the third year, $800 million in the fourth year and $1 billion in the fifth year. Ten percent of the funds would be set aside for research and evaluation with the purposes of determining the most effective methodologies for using objective measures of student learning growth, evaluating the effectiveness of states receiving such grants in using them to improve teacher effectiveness, and eliminating disproportionate assignment of ineffective teachers to high-poverty and high-minority schools.
TQ 9 - Summary of Recommendation Focus Title II funds on high poverty schools, divided equally between district and principal-led efforts to improve teacher effectiveness.
TQ 9 - Full Recommendation Provide high poverty schools with more federal funding by focusing all of the Title II funds that districts receive on high poverty schools: 50% on district-level activities to support efforts to improve teaching at these schools; and 50% directly to these schools to support principal-led efforts to enhance teacher effectiveness.
Parent and Community Involvement (CPI)

NCLB Reauthorization : Forum on Educational Accountability (FEA)
Capacity Building, Innovation and Research & Development (CIRD)
Teaching Quality (TQ)
TQ 1 - Summary of Recommendation Ensure teacher and administrator preparation and professional development improve student achievement.
TQ 1 - Full Recommendation Ensure changes in teacher and administrator preparation and continuing professional development that research evidence and experience indicate improve educational quality and student achievement.
Parent and Community Involvement (CPI)

NCLB Reauthorization : National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP)
Capacity Building, Innovation and Research & Development (CIRD)
Teaching Quality (TQ)
TQ 1 - Summary of Recommendation Consider special education teachers as highly qualified if certified and licensed in special education.
TQ 1 - Full Recommendation Consider a special education teacher who is fully certified and licensed in special education to be a highly qualified teacher.
TQ 2 - Summary of Recommendation Ensure principal, teacher and other education professional qualification criteria are state responsibility.
TQ 2 - Full Recommendation Ensure criteria for determining the qualifications of principals, teachers and other education professionals are the responsibility of each state.
TQ 3 - Summary of Recommendation Provide federal resources for state qualification systems and process to help education professionals perform successfully.
TQ 3 - Full Recommendation Provide federal resources to assist states in establishing qualification systems and a process to help education professionals reach and maintain their peak performance levels.
TQ 4 - Summary of Recommendation Provide resources to help states recruit and retain qualified principals and teachers in shortage areas.
TQ 4 - Full Recommendation Provide federal resources for the development of programs to recruit and retain excellent education professionals for states experiencing a shortage of qualified principals and/or teachers.
TQ 5 - Summary of Recommendation Provide assistance and funds for principal and teacher mentoring programs.
TQ 5 - Full Recommendation Provide federal assistance to districts and states to develop and fund mentoring programs for principals and teachers during their first three years in their new positions.
TQ 6 - Summary of Recommendation Fund research on instructional leadership, pedagogy and child and adolescent development to inform professional development.
TQ 6 - Full Recommendation Provide federal funds for research on instructional leadership, pedagogy (best practices), and child and adolescent development to inform the professional development opportunities provided throughout an educator’s career.
Parent and Community Involvement (CPI)

NCLB Reauthorization : National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE)
Capacity Building, Innovation and Research & Development (CIRD)
Teaching Quality (TQ)
TQ 1 - Summary of Recommendation No recommendations identified for this issue.
Parent and Community Involvement (CPI)

NCLB Reauthorization : National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)
Capacity Building, Innovation and Research & Development (CIRD)
Teaching Quality (TQ)
TQ 1 - Summary of Recommendation Allocate federal funds for principal/teacher professional development regarding adolescent literacy and use of data to improve student performance.
TQ 1 - Full Recommendation

Allocate a portion of federal funds, including Title II and Higher Education Act funds for professional development programs specifically focused on local schools in the area of adolescent literacy and in the use of data to improve student achievement.

  • The instructional leader and the school’s leadership team must have the capacity to improve student achievement through the use of data.
  • The pedagogy of teachers in secondary schools must include strategies to improve adolescent literacy.
  • Access to data does not always mean understanding or utilization.
  • State allocation of federal funds for training might not be currently used to train local school staff members on literacy and the proper use of data.
  • Higher education programs in principal and teacher preparation must provide training in the use and interpretation of data to improve student achievement.
TQ 2 - Summary of Recommendation Prohibit lack of highly qualified teachers to be grounds for litigation.
TQ 2 - Full Recommendation

Prohibit a lack of highly qualified teachers to be grounds for litigation.

  • Parents of children in classrooms that do not have a highly qualified teacher should not have grounds to sue the school, principal, or district. 
  • For many districts it is very difficult to find highly qualified teachers for every subject, particularly in rural and high-need areas. Also, in many of these areas, teachers teach more than one subject because of the lack of qualified candidates.
  • There are more productive means of solving situations where there is a lack of a highly qualified teacher, such as moving the student to another classroom with a highly qualified teacher or providing mediation between the parent and teacher to understand how and when the teacher will become highly qualified.
TQ 3 - Summary of Recommendation Allow use of Title II funds for teacher mentoring programs.
TQ 3 - Full Recommendation

Allow use of funds under NCLB Title II to create meaningful teacher mentoring programs that significantly sustain the retention and development of new teachers.

  • An issue of paramount concern is the importance of mentoring and sustaining new teachers, because research indicates that many new teachers leave the profession within the first five years of service.
  • Funding to provide programs designed to retain these teachers and provide them with the skills to persist is essential to meet the intent of NCLB.
TQ 4 - Summary of Recommendation Extend time period for special education teachers to become highly qualified until 2007-08.
TQ 4 - Full Recommendation

Extend time period for special education teachers to become highly qualified. Special education teachers should have until the beginning of the 2007–08 school year to complete the requirements for highly qualified status.

  1. With the inception of NCLB in 2002 and subsequent guidance and regulations from the Education Department, general education teachers had a very specific definition of “highly qualified.” During the first years of the law, such a clear definition was not afforded to special education teachers.
  2. When IDEA was reauthorized in fall 2004, continued definition and guidance was given to special education teachers. However, at this point they were two years behind their peers in beginning the process of becoming highly qualified; therefore, it is reasonable that special education teachers should be given an extension to reach highly qualified status.
TQ 5 - Summary of Recommendation Accept special education certificate as highly qualified measure.
TQ 5 - Full Recommendation

Accept special education certificate as highly qualified measure. Teachers of students with disabilities, who hold special education certification should be considered highly qualified to provide instruction in grades 9–12.

  • Special education certification courses train individuals to provide targeted remediation for students with special needs in the curriculum areas measured by NCLB.
  • Special education teachers must also pass tests of general knowledge to become certified and should therefore reliably possess the general knowledge covered in grades 9–12.
TQ 6 - Summary of Recommendation Provide $2,500 yearly tax credit to special education teachers who acquire highly qualified status in English, mathematics or science.
TQ 6 - Full Recommendation

Provide tax credit to special education teachers. Teachers with special education certification who have or acquire highly qualified status in English, mathematics or science should receive a yearly tax credit of $2,500 for the duration of service in those subject areas. 

  • Teachers who currently hold a special education certification and who have or acquire highly qualified status should be rewarded with incentives for pursuing professional development that will allow them to teach in special education and subject-matter areas.
  • Acquiring extra certifications after one has already completed a state’s required licensure requirements presents a hardship to personnel who already have a salary below the average for individuals with bachelor’s degrees.
  • These teachers should be compensated for adding this licensure, which is an added financial responsibility.
TQ 7 - Summary of Recommendation Provide $2,500 yearly tax credit to highly qualified English, mathematics or science teachers who acquire special education certification.
TQ 7 - Full Recommendation

Provide a yearly tax credit of $2,500 for the duration of service to teachers who are highly qualified in English, mathematics or science and who have or acquire special education certification.

  • There is a severe shortage of special education teachers. 
  • Offering an incentive, such as a tax credit, to those subject-matter teachers who pursue special education certification may help recruit and retain more special education–certified teachers. 
  • Subject-matter teachers deal with many different types of students in general classroom settings, including some mildly disabled children. Allowing subject-matter teachers to become special education certified will help them educate the diverse student population they teach. It also represents the spirit of NCLB in providing the most challenging and high-quality education to every student.
TQ 8 - Summary of Recommendation Provide special education teachers tuition reimbursement of up to $17,500 after five years of service.
TQ 8 - Full Recommendation

Provide tuition reimbursement of up to $17,500 for teachers entering the special education field after completing their first five years of service in a public school. The reimbursement would apply to teachers who hold a Federal Family Education Loan or Federal Direct Loan.

  • There is a severe shortage of special education teachers.
  • The federal government needs to find ways to recruit and retain teachers in this field.
  • The federal government has offered tuition reimbursement for teachers in high-need areas in math and science, and a similar program should be offered to all highly qualified special education teachers who are in need in every school in the nation.
  • The amount of reimbursement offered to teachers who meet these requirements should be $17,500. In addition, a teacher should have to remain in the special education field for five years before receiving reimbursement to encourage retention.
Parent and Community Involvement (CPI)

NCLB Reauthorization : National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)
Capacity Building, Innovation and Research & Development (CIRD)
Teaching Quality (TQ)
TQ 1 - Summary of Recommendation Defer to state certification processes for meeting highly qualified definition for special education teachers.
TQ 1 - Full Recommendation Defer to state certification processes for meeting the highly qualified definition for special education teachers.
TQ 2 - Summary of Recommendation Allow special education teachers to earn highly qualified status without proving content knowledge for each subject, but through alternative evaluation method.
TQ 2 - Full Recommendation Allow special education teachers who teach multiple subjects to meet the NCLB highly qualified definition without having to prove content knowledge for each academic subject. This could be accomplished by developing an alternative method of evaluation to confirm that these teachers have enough content knowledge to teach various subjects to special education students. An alternative method of evaluation could include a single assessment or allowing states to establish a highly objective and uniform state standard of evaluation (HOUSSE program) specifically for special education teachers.
TQ 3 - Summary of Recommendation Allow general and special education teachers not meeting content knowledge requirements to gain highly qualified status by partnering with qualified teachers. 
TQ 3 - Full Recommendation Offer special education teachers and general education teachers who do not meet specific content knowledge requirements the option of partnering with teachers who have the subject matter content knowledge. This would allow special education teachers access to the content knowledge of academic teachers, and give academic teachers the opportunity to observe appropriate teaching techniques for students with disabilities. Both parties in this collaboration would meet the federal definition of a highly qualified teacher, which would help states adequately staff classrooms and would allow students with disabilities to benefit from teachers who have both special education expertise and content knowledge.
TQ 4 - Summary of Recommendation Allow multiple-subject teachers to meet highly qualified definition based on single means of evaluation that ensures content knowledge of each subject.
TQ 4 - Full Recommendation Allow teachers who are teaching multiple subjects to be considered highly qualified based on a single means of evaluation (which could include a test, continued education or a HOUSSE program). Any evaluation system must ensure that teachers have sufficient content knowledge to teach separate subjects, but should not require teachers to repeat the evaluation process for each subject.
TQ 5 - Summary of Recommendation Allow states to determine circumstances for granting exceptions to highly qualified teacher requirements. For example, hard-to-staff schools may qualify.
TQ 5 - Full Recommendation Allow states to determine the conditions under which exceptions to highly qualified teacher requirements can be granted in unique and limited circumstances that are beyond the control of the school and/or district. Many hard-to-staff schools are having difficulty ensuring that all teachers meet the highly qualified definition. Unique circumstances prevent these schools from complying with this requirement.
Parent and Community Involvement (CPI)

NCLB Reauthorization : National Education Association (NEA)
Capacity Building, Innovation and Research & Development (CIRD)
Teaching Quality (TQ)
TQ 1 - Summary of Recommendation Align Title II Teacher Quality State Grant program with National Staff Development Council (NSDC) standards.
TQ 1 - Full Recommendation Ensure the Title II Teacher Quality State Grant program is aligned with the National Staff Development Council (NSDC) standards.
TQ 2 - Summary of Recommendation Provide federally funded salary enhancements for teachers who achieve National Board Certification.
TQ 2 - Full Recommendation Provide federally funded salary enhancements for teachers who achieve National Board Certification, with a smaller salary incentive for teachers who complete this rigorous process and receive a score, but do not achieve certification.
TQ 3 - Summary of Recommendation Create grant program to compensate teachers who take on new roles to assist colleagues.
TQ 3 - Full Recommendation Create a grant program that provides additional compensation for teachers with specific knowledge and skills who take on new roles to assist their colleagues.
TQ 4 - Summary of Recommendation Provide development and education opportunities for support professionals.
TQ 4 - Full Recommendation Expand opportunities for education support professionals to broaden and enhance their skills and knowledge, including compensation for taking additional courses or doing course work for advanced degrees.
TQ 5 - Summary of Recommendation Provide federal grants to pair new teachers with experienced mentor teachers.
TQ 5 - Full Recommendation Provide federal grants that encourage districts and schools to assist new teachers by pairing them with an experienced mentor teacher in a shared classroom.
TQ 6 - Summary of Recommendation Provide financial incentives for teachers and support professionals who work in low-performing or high-poverty schools.
TQ 6 - Full Recommendation Provide financial incentives - both direct federal subsidies and tax credits -- for retention, relocation and housing for teachers and support professionals who work in schools identified as "in need of improvement" or high-poverty schools, and stay in such schools for at least five years.
TQ 7 - Summary of Recommendation Provide hard-to-staff schools with sufficient, well-trained administrators and support professionals, including paraeducators.
TQ 7 - Full Recommendation Provide hard-to-staff schools with an adequate number of well trained administrators and support professionals, including paraeducators, counselors, social workers, school nurses, psychologists and clerical support.
TQ 8 - Summary of Recommendation Provide adequate time for paraeducators transferred to Title I schools to meet highly qualified standards.
TQ 8 - Full Recommendation Provide paraeducators who are involuntarily transferred to a Title I school and who have not met the highly qualified standard with adequate time to meet the requirement.
TQ 9 - Summary of Recommendation Grant reciprocity across states and districts for highly qualified paraeducators.
TQ 9 - Full Recommendation Grant reciprocity for paraeducators who meet the highly qualified standard when they move to another state or district, with different qualifications.
TQ 10 - Summary of Recommendation Revise highly qualified teacher definition to recognize state licensure/certification and eliminate nonessential requirements and loopholes.
TQ 10 - Full Recommendation Revise the definition of highly qualified teachers to recognize state licensure/certification, eliminate nonessential requirements that create unnecessary obstacles, and eliminate loopholes in the scope of coverage.
TQ 11 - Summary of Recommendation Provide additional time for teachers to become highly qualified if significant implementation problems have occurred.
TQ 11 - Full Recommendation Provide teachers who may not meet the highly qualified standard by the current deadlines, due to significant implementation problems, with assistance and additional time to meet the requirement.
TQ 12 - Summary of Recommendation Include effective parental communication and engagement strategies in teacher professional development.
TQ 12 - Full Recommendation Include training in the skills and knowledge needed for effective parental and family communication and engagement strategies as part of teacher professional development.
Parent and Community Involvement (CPI)

NCLB Reauthorization : National Governors Association (NGA)
Capacity Building, Innovation and Research & Development (CIRD)
Teaching Quality (TQ)
TQ 1 - Summary of Recommendation Support states' efforts to create highly qualified teacher workforce, and ensure professional development is aligned with states standards and improves student achievement.
TQ 1 - Full Recommendation Support state efforts to create a highly qualified teacher workforce. Ensure professional development activities are aligned with the state's content and student performance standards and should be tied to improving student achievement.

Some successful strategies for creating a strong workforce include high-quality and relevant professional development activities for teachers; teacher testing and certification based on high standards, such as those developed by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards; merit or performance pay; teacher academies; alternative routes to certification; and other methods to ensure that teachers in all classrooms have knowledge of both subject matter and teaching methods.

TQ 2 - Summary of Recommendation Support strategies to encourage excellent teachers to accept challenging assignments, but do not create federal programs linking teacher preparation with student performance. 
TQ 2 - Full Recommendation Support state or federal strategies to encourage the nation's best teachers to accept the most challenging teaching assignments. While governors support current state efforts to align teacher preparation and school leader preparation programs, any federalized efforts to link teacher preparation programs with student performance should be opposed by Congress.
TQ 3 - Summary of Recommendation Provide flexibility for teachers of multiple subjects in high-need areas, particularly for special education and rural teachers.
TQ 3 - Full Recommendation Provide and codify flexibility for teachers of multiple subjects in high-need areas, particularly for special education teachers and teachers in rural areas. Flexibility is crucial to ameliorating excessive burdens and teacher shortages due to highly qualified teacher requirements.
Parent and Community Involvement (CPI)

NCLB Reauthorization : National School Boards Association (NSBA)
Capacity Building, Innovation and Research & Development (CIRD)
Teaching Quality (TQ)
TQ 1 - Summary of Recommendation No recommendations identified for this issue.
Parent and Community Involvement (CPI)


Abbreviation Key for Organizations
AASA = American Association of School Administrators
AFT = American Federation of Teachers
BCSA = Business Coalition for Student Achievement
Comm. NCLB = Commission on No Child Left Behind
CCSSO = Council of Chief State School Officers
ECS = Education Commission of the States
Ed Trust = Education Trust
FEA = Forum on Educational Accountability
NAESP = National Association of Elementary School Principals
NASBE = National Association of State Boards of Education
NASSP = National Association of Secondary School Principals
NCSL = National Conference of State Legislatures
NEA = National Education Association
NGA = National Governors Association
NSBA = National School Boards Association


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