OVAE: Office of Vocational and Adult Education
Current Section

The Secretary's High School Initiative
Teaching and Leadership

Archived Information

The Issue
Nothing is more important in the classroom than a caring, knowledgeable, effective teacher. High-quality teachers can make a significant difference in how well students learn. Of course, high-quality teaching is fostered by effective leadership at the school and district level. Everyone must work together with a sustained focus on student achievement.

The Research
Research shows how high-quality teaching improves student learning, even for the most disadvantaged students.

  • Good Teaching Matters: How Well-Qualified Teachers Can Close the Gap
    Reviews research that shows how good teaching positively affects student achievement, shows how good teaching is unevenly distributed in the nation's classrooms (poor and minority students are less likely to have qualified teachers), identifies the qualities of a good teacher, and suggests policy actions to improve teacher quality, especially for the most underserved students.

  • He's Got Your Number (Education Week, 2000)
    Profiles William Sanders and Value-Added Assessment as a measurement of teacher quality. Shows how Sanders was able to demonstrate that teacher quality affects student achievement in Tennessee schools. Includes links to additional resources.

Noteworthy Practices
Community leaders, administrators and educators themselves are working to improve the quality of teaching.

  • Boston Teacher Residency
    A teacher preparation program for urban teachers where Teacher Residents are placed with a Master Teacher for a full school year. The program is "[m]odeled after medical residencies in which practical training in hospitals is valued as highly as rigorous academic coursework."

  • Growing Better Teachers in the Garden State
    In 1984, New Jersey developed an alternative route to teacher certification to improve the quality of its teaching corps. According to this analysis by the Fordham Foundation, the program has "markedly expanded the quality, diversity, and size of the state's teacher candidate pool."

  • Teacher Advancement Program (Milken Family Foundation)
    Program to draw more talented people into the teaching profession, featuring five principles: (1) multiple career paths; (2) market-driven results; (3) performance-based accountability; (4) ongoing, applied professional growth; and (5) expanding the supply.

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Last Modified: 07/24/2007