Blueprint for Change in the District of Columbia: State Teacher Policy Yearbook, 2010Report as inadecuate

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The 2009 "State Teacher Policy Yearbook" provided a comprehensive review of states' policies that impact the teaching profession. As a companion to last year's comprehensive state-by-state analysis, the 2010 edition provides each state with an individualized "Blueprint for Change," building off last year's "Yearbook" goals and recommendations. State teacher policy addresses a great many areas, including teacher preparation, certification, evaluation and compensation. With so many moving parts, it may be difficult for states to find a starting point on the road to reform. To this end, this paper provides a state-specific roadmap, organized in three main sections. Section 1 identifies policy concerns that need critical attention, the areas of highest priority for state policymakers. Section 2 outlines "low-hanging fruit," policy changes that can be implemented in relatively short order. Section 3 offers a short discussion of some longer-term systemic issues that states need to make sure stay on the radar. In the 2009 "State Teacher Policy Yearbook", District of Columbia had the following grades: (1) Delivering Well Prepared Teachers (D); (2) Expanding the Teaching Pool (D+); (3) Identifying Effective Teachers (F); (4) Retaining Effective Teachers (D-); and (5) Exiting Ineffective Teachers (D+). District of Columbia has an overall grade of D- for 2009. In the last year, many states made significant changes to their teacher policies, spurred in many cases by the Race to the Top competition. Based on a review of state legislation, rules and regulations, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) has identified a recent policy change in the District of Columbia. Although not state-level policy, the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) has implemented a new teacher evaluation system called IMPACT, in which 50 percent of the evaluation score is based on the teacher's impact on students' achievement. States were asked to review NCTQ's identified updates and to comment on policy changes that have occurred in the last year, other pending changes or teacher quality in the state more generally. The District of Columbia pointed out that it won a Race to the Top grant, and as part of its proposal, it will require that all participating local education agencies (LEAs) implement a teacher evaluation system. Fifty percent of this evaluation must be based on student achievement growth in those grades for which there is statewide assessment data. The District added that this grant will also fund efforts to increase the number of subjects and grades for which there are statewide assessments. Thirty-five of the District's 53 LEAs (each charter school is a separate LEA) have signed on to the Race to the Top application and will be implementing evaluation systems next year. The District of Columbia also noted that, even though there is no state requirement, some of its LEAs, aside from DCPS (District of Columbia Public Schools), have already implemented evaluation systems. Individual sections contain footnotes. (Contains 5 figures.) [For the related reports, see "Blueprint for Change: National Summary. State Teacher Policy Yearbook, 2010" (ED515614) and "State Teacher Policy Yearbook, 2009. District of Columbia" (ED511877).]

Descriptors: Teaching (Occupation), Elementary Secondary Education, Educational Policy, Teacher Evaluation, Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Improvement, Tenure, Teacher Dismissal, State Government, State Regulation, Academic Achievement, Educational Improvement, Teacher Certification, Alternative Teacher Certification, Needs Assessment, Yearbooks, Retirement Benefits, Educational Change, Teacher Education, Special Education Teachers, Elementary School Teachers, Middle School Teachers, Educational Objectives, Comparative Analysis, Public Schools

National Council on Teacher Quality. 1420 New York Avenue NW Suite 800, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-393-0020; Fax: 202-393-0095; Web site:

Author: National Council on Teacher Quality


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