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ERIC Number: EJ829120
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 36
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1467-9620
Piecing Together the Teacher Policy Landscape: A Policy Problem Typology
Rice, Jennifer King; Roellke, Christopher; Sparks, Dina; Kolbe, Tammy
Teachers College Record, v111 n2 p511-546 2009
Background/Context: Evidence suggests that teachers are a critical resource in realizing high-quality educational opportunities for all students. However, many school systems across the country continue to employ large numbers of teachers who, by most indicators, do not fit into the category of "high quality." Although policy makers at various levels of government have responded to the teacher staffing problem, we know very little about the range of strategies being used or how these strategies are packaged together. Purpose/Objective: This article presents and applies a three-dimensional typology designed to organize and analyze the array of teacher policies across education systems. This analytic tool extends current approaches to studying teacher policy in three ways. First, our approach recognizes the multidimensional nature of the teacher staffing problem and the array of policy responses to it. Second, we acknowledge that multiple levels of the system are simultaneously at work to address teacher staffing and teacher quality, so that each policy at any given level is part of a broader web of policies being employed across the educational system. Finally, our study emphasizes the importance of considering teacher policy "packages" to understand what is currently being done to address critical staffing issues and what needs to be done if we are serious about staffing all classrooms with highly qualified teachers. Research Design: We developed the typology using data from a national scan of teacher policy, based on a broad review of scholarly literature, state and district documents and Web sites, a national data set, and interviews with education leaders at the national, state, and district levels. We tested and refined this tool using data from multilevel, nested case studies of teacher policy in three states: Maryland, New York, and Connecticut. Conclusions/Recommendations: The study makes both conceptual and empirical contributions. Conceptually, we have developed and tested a useful tool for policy makers and researchers to examine the range of policies and resources being employed to address the various dimensions of the teacher staffing problem. Empirically, this study provides information on the constellations of teacher policies across levels of the education system in three states and presents findings on the range and reach of teacher policies at the state, district, and school levels.
Teachers College, Columbia University. P.O. Box 103, 525 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027. Tel: 212-678-3774; Fax: 212-678-6619; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Connecticut; Maryland; New York
IES Cited: ED561224