Improving Access to the Best Teachers

Improving Access to the Best Teachers Disadvantaged schools have long struggled to recruit and retain high-performing teachers. Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Education unveiled a strategy under which states will have to submit plans for distributing top teachers among the neediest schools. Yet historically, states have had little success with such teacher-equity plans.

How can school systems improve access to high-performing teachers in struggling schools? What working and cultural conditions must be present to recruit and maintain top teachers? Why do you think states' efforts to provide incentives for accomplished educators to work in low-performing school have often fallen short?

Accomplished educators typically do not want to be the only accomplished educator in the building, Latosha R. Guy writes.

Many teachers leave their schools not for pay or because of the students, but because another school offered a climate and environment more conducive to excellence, Robert Jeffers says.

Offering teachers more money alone is not the cure-all for recruiting and maintaining top teachers at all schools, Deidra Gammill says. (Although money helps.)

Maybe it's time to change how we come up with answers to tough policy questions, Jeff Austin writes, starting with increased collaboration between states and teachers.

The very concept of equitably "redistributing effective teachers" carries with it an oversimplification of what effective teaching is, Ariel Sacks says.

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