100+ Local, State and National Groups Unified
The Coalition for Teaching Quality represents a broad cross-section of over 100 local, state, and national organizations representing civil rights, disability, parent, student, community, and education groups. Formed in reaction to a provision that allowed teachers in training to be identified under federal law as “highly qualified” and concentrated in low-income, high need schools, this group has developed a new, comprehensive framework for teaching quality that will allow the nation to put a fully-prepared and effective teacher in every classroom.
Coalition Principles on Excellent Teaching & Learning
To promote and support a stable supply of qualified, effective educators for all communities, the Coalition's guiding principles are outlined below from teacher recruitment, to preparation, and support to effectiveness:
- All students are entitled to teachers who are qualified (fully prepared and fully certified), as well as effective.
- Teachers in training, if assigned as teacher of record, must be accurately identified, equitably distributed, and adequately supervised.
- Teacher effectiveness should be evaluated based on valid measures of teacher performance both for entering and experienced professionals.
- Any determinations made about the status of an individual teacher (e.g. qualified, effective) should be based on that individual teacher’s demonstrated skill, knowledge and ability.
- Policy should be strengthened and enforced in order to ensure equitable resources and equally qualified teachers across schools serving different populations of students, especially poor and minority students and students with disabilities.
- Teacher preparation programs should be held to common, high standards.
- Investments should be made in proven methods to recruit, prepare, develop and retain fully prepared and effective teachers in shortage fields and hard to staff schools.
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Why the Coalition was Formed
In December 2010, a change was made to federal law without any public discussion, amending the definition of “highly qualified teacher” in the No Child Left Behind Act by writing into law a regulation that labeled teachers currently enrolled in alternative route certification programs, such as Teach for America, as “highly qualified teachers.”
That regulation had been struck down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a legal challenge brought by low-income students and parents (Renee v. Duncan). The federal provision has been extended twice since December 2010. More background on the issue can be found here. Concerned about how this federal law would impact students with disabilities and students of color, we've pushed for all teachers to be prepared before day one, and once in the classroom, can demonstrate their impact on student learning.