What teachers want from ESEA reauthorization—part 4

We want a pedagogically and ethically sound definition of highly qualified teachers, as well as more effective use of our teaching force. 

I’ve posted recently on my disagreement with the current Federal guidelines on who may be called highly qualified to teach.

Our Teacher Solutions 2030 team envisions that teaching will be a much more fluid and vibrant profession with people entering and leaving at different points, as well as much more movement within the profession in the form of expanding hybrid roles. The problem is and will be the distribution of those teachers. Currently, minority and high needs schools are more likely to get the short-term or less qualified staff; and suffer much higher teacher turnover rates than higher performing schools.

This is the fallacy behind most of the turnaround strategies pushed by the Administration in its Blueprint for Education Reform. High teacher or administrator turnover destabilizes a school and its community. A better strategy is to support development of a critical mass of community-based, highly accomplished teachers and school leaders who serve as mentors and anchors for the increasingly more transient staff. This will give the schools both the flexibility and the stability to maintain consistent educational quality.