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Executive Summary: Strengthening Teacher Quality in High-Need Schools: Policy and Practice

High quality teaching is more important than it has ever been as schools, districts and states face the critical challenge of educating ALL students at higher levels than ever before. Educators are feeling increased pressure to do more with a more diverse population. With generous support from The Joyce Foundation, CCSSO is reflecting on the challenges of teachers in this document because there are great things going on all over the United States to improve learning for students. states, districts, cities, and schools are developing innovative programs and methods to overcome challenges in the classroom even before the teacher is hired. Others are doing great things to improve the professional development being offered to teachers and leaders, making it more relevant and timely. Still others are working to create environments in which great teaching can happen.

This report addresses four challenging topics-the first being understanding and evaluating teacher effectiveness. The final three chapters, devoted to topics within the context of high-need schools, are attracting mathematics and science teachers, special skills needed to teach diverse learners, and the role of leadership in attracting and retaining teachers.