The Importance of Teacher Quality
Research makes it clear that teachers, together with principals and school leaders, are the most important school-based influence on student learning. We must take steps to ensure that the best, brightest, and most committed enter the teaching profession, that they are well-prepared and supported on the job, and that they are appropriately compensated for their effectiveness and hard work.
EXCELLENT PREPARATION FOR EXCELLENT TEACHERS
- Our teachers need to be ready to help our students succeed before they enter the classroom. We need to adopt policies that focus not only on the individual teacher but also on all the conditions needed to support achievement for all students: learning conditions, the school environment, and instructional resources and supports.
- We should be wary of alternative teacher preparation programs that don’t have rigorous standards; we can’t afford to place our students in classrooms with teachers who are not well-prepared.
RECRUITING THE BEST TEACHERS
- We need more incentives so that potential teachers enter into preparation programs with high standards and accountability.
- There are many potential educators here in Arkansas. Colleges of Education should work with local school districts and consider developing “Grow Your Own” teacher programs to recruit from the local community.