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ERIC Number: ED555562
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
The Equitable Distribution of Effective Teachers: Can States Meet the Research Challenges Required for Success?
Allen, Michael
CNA Corporation
One of the provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act that has gained prominence as a policy focus only in the last several years is the requirement that poor and minority children be served by highly qualified teachers to no less a degree than other, more affluent children. Under the Obama administration, the focus on "highly qualified" teachers has shifted to "effective" teachers, and the push for states to ensure equitable distribution is a key requirement for the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund program and Race to the Top (RTT) funding, as well as a key piece of the administration's Blueprint for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Complying with the equitable distribution provision is a formidable challenge for states under the best of circumstances. It may involve the renegotiation of teacher union contracts in order to make transfer and seniority provisions less of an obstacle to teacher reassignment. It may meet the reality that in fields such as bilingual education, science, and mathematics, there are not enough qualified and effective teachers to go around. States may also face the prospect that there are schools, either because of location or reputation, at which effective teachers simply do not want to teach and will not stay in spite of incentives they may be offered. Given the tough economic conditions that states across the country face at the present time, the difficulty of complying with the equitable distribution requirement is even greater as states and districts struggle to avoid teacher layoffs and are hard-pressed to find the extra cash required to lure successful teachers to schools in need and keep them there. The challenges are ongoing, and addressing them successfully requires consistent and long term data reporting and analysis. CNA has come to comprehend the significant research and analytical burden teacher distribution and many other reform efforts impose on states and the capacity gap in these areas that must be closed if state education reform efforts ultimately are to realize their full potential for success. This discussion highlights 3 key research-related challenges that the REL Appalachia states and others are facing in their efforts to achieve more equitable distribution of effective teachers: (1) Conceptual Clarification; (2) Solid Understanding of Research; and (3) Solid Grasp of the State Education Picture. The conversation draws on the perceptions of the staff of CNA Education, many of whom serve client states as researchers directly embedded in state departments of education--a unique technical assistance model that CNA employs in all of its research areas, both military and civilian. It also draws on interviews with state education officials and the study of relevant state documents by this paper's author. "Equitable Distribution of Effective Teachers: Federal Definitions" is contained in the appendix.
CNA Corporation. 4825 Mark Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22311. Tel: 703-824-2000; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: CNA Education
Identifiers - Location: Tennessee; Virginia
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Elementary and Secondary Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001; Race to the Top