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ERIC Number: ED528797
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jan
Pages: 62
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Teacher Quality Roadmap: Improving Policies and Practices in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools
National Council on Teacher Quality
In partnership with the Urban League of Greater Miami, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released "Teacher Quality Roadmap: Improving Policies and Practices in Miami," an in-depth study of the work rules Miami-Dade teachers. This look at the state of teacher policies in Miami-Dade County Public Schools explores the district's contract with its teachers, as well as district practices and state laws that shape the work rules for teachers. Additionally, NCTQ analyzed human resources data; conducted a district-wide survey of over 5,300 principals and teachers; and held focus groups with teachers, principals, parents, and students. The analysis is framed around four standards for improving teacher quality. The standards--evaluations, staffing, compensation and work schedule--are supported by research and best practices from the field. Among the report's findings are: (1) Miami's procedures for hiring and assigning teachers to schools do not give sufficient consideration to school needs, placing a large burden on principals to screen applicants and not recruiting a competitive enough applicant pool. Most problematic however is that, principals do not have final say over who works in their buildings; (2) While Miami has made some progress at designing a system to reward its best teachers, it is dismissing far too few poor performing teachers. Given that its teacher workforce is over 20,000 teachers, its dismissal rate suggests that teachers are not being held accountable for their performance. In 2010-2011 no more than 10 teachers (less than 0.05 percent) were dismissed for poor performance; an additional six who were dismissed appealed the evaluation procedures and were reinstated. This is the lowest rate of dismissal NCTQ has seen in the districts it has studied; (3) The district is not adequately supporting future teacher leaders in the district by routinely laying off its newest teachers while protecting tenured teachers without any consideration of job performance and, also, reserving almost all raises that a teacher can receive (70 percent) for those who have been teaching at least 20 years; (4) The evaluation system, in spite of several state mandates, remains in need of much work. Miami-Dade teachers want more feedback about their instruction, particularly from content experts, a need that the peer review program that the district has in place has not been able to fully meet. The current instrument used to evaluate teachers does not sufficiently capture what high quality instruction should look like; (5) District record keeping, often a struggle for many urban districts, appears to be a particular problem in Miami-Dade. For example, there is a lot of routine data that it does not collect such as how many teachers are struggling or what is the breakdown of teacher ratings on the annual evaluation instrument; and (6) There is little indication that the district looks for individuals with strong academic backgrounds when recruiting new teachers, even though research has found that teachers with a strong academic background of their own are more likely to be effective. Appended are: (1) Comparison of Miami-Dade and Washington, D.C.; and (2) The impact of teachers' advance degrees on student learning. (Contains 36 figures and 27 footnotes.) [Additional funding for this paper was provided by the Garner Foundation.]
National Council on Teacher Quality. 1420 New York Avenue NW Suite 800, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-393-0020; Fax: 202-393-0095; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Community; Parents; Teachers; Administrators
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: National Council on Teacher Quality
Identifiers - Location: Florida