Arne Duncan Unveils 50-State Teacher-Equity Strategy

President Barack Obama, right, and Education Secretary Arne Duncan, far left, speak with teachers about education, Monday, July 7, 2014, in the Blue Room of the White House in Washington. From left clockwise are, Duncan, teachers Justin Minkel, and Leslie Ross, President Obama, teachers Dwight Davis and LeShawna Coleman. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The U.S. Department of Education Monday detailed its long-awaited “50-state” strategy for putting some teeth into a requirement of the 12-year-old No Child Left Behind Act that has gone largely unenforced up until now: ensuring that poor and minority students get access to as many great teachers as their more advantaged peers.

States will be required to submit new plans to address teacher distribution by April of 2015, or just a few months before the department likely will begin to consider states’ requests to renew their waivers from the NCLB law. (Read a letter the department sent to state chiefs outlining the plan here.)

This isn’t the first time that the feds have asked states to outline their plans on teacher distribution, but the results so far haven’t exactly been a stunning success.

Under NCLB, which was signed into law in 2002, states were required to ensure that poor and minority students were not being taught by unqualified teachers at a higher rate than other students. But fewer than half of states have separate teacher-equity plans on file with the department. Most of those plans are at least several years old, and the Education Trust, a Washington-based organization that advocates for poor and minority kids, found them to be seriously lacking in this 2006 report.

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Article Credit
“Arne Duncan Unveils 50-State Teacher-Equity Strategy.”
By Alyson Klein
Education Week. Education Week, 7 July 2014. Web. 09 July 2014.