The following is a company-submitted press release and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Spaces4Learning.

NASBE Policy Update Urges States to Pay Attention to Teacher Equity Plans

Alexandria, Va. – According to the US Department of Education’s Civil Rights Data Collection, nearly 96 percent of our nation’s public school teachers are licensed and certified. So why are over a half a million low-income and minority students still being taught in schools with the highest percentages of unqualified and inexperienced teachers? A new NASBE Policy Update explores teacher equity and why state policymakers need to start paying closer attention.

In “Will New Teacher Equity Plans Get Closer to the Mark?,” NASBE Director of School Discipline and Equity Kimberly D. Charis urges state, district, and local leaders to “get serious about upholding America’s core value of equal opportunity” by ensuring the all students have equal access to qualified and experienced teachers. The US Department of Education issued new guidance in 2014 requiring states to devise plans by June 1 for how states will ensure all their students have equitable access to excellent educators.

Most states “missed the mark” on their state plans when the department issued similar guidelines back in 2006, Charis says. So the new guidance presents an opportunity for states to close the teacher equity gap. Charis reviews what state teacher equity plans are to include and makes recommendations for how state boards of education can ensure successful implementation. She notes that annually reviewing state data will help uncover where teacher equity gaps exist. State boards of education can also work with school leaders and serve as a convener of discussions about how to promote more equitable teacher distribution practices. “As unbiased brokers for evidence-based policymaking, centered on the best interest of students and the public, state boards of education are a vital partner in every state and local effort to eliminate inequities and close achievement gaps,” writes Charis.

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