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Wanted: A National Teacher Supply Policy for Education: The Right Way to Meet The "Highly Qualified Teacher" Challenge

Abstract

"Teacher quality is now the focus of unprecedented policy analysis. To achieve its goals, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) requires a "highly qualified teacher" in all classrooms...To acquire and retain high-quality teachers in our Nation's classrooms will require substantial policy change at many levels...We argue that teacher supply policy should attract well-prepared teachers to districts that sorely need them while relieving shortages in fields like special education, math and the physical sciences. We study the mal-distribution of teachers and examine its causes. We describe examples of both states and local school districts that have fashioned successful strategies for strengthening their teaching forces...The federal government has a critical role to play in enhancing the supply of qualified teachers targeted to high-need fields and locations, improving retention of qualified teachers, especially in hard-to-staff schools, and in creating a national labor market by removing interstate barriers to mobility."

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