A new report examines how New York State plans to update their plan for equity and educator excellence.
According to the report, Examining Educator Excellence: New York State’s Updated Plan for Equity, New York has historically focused on equity within the field of education. That focus has shifted from teacher qualification and experience to looking at effectiveness. The report states that while the equity plan in 2006 focused on finding qualified, experiences teachers for low income and minority students, the plan for 2015 shifted to look more at the quality of the overall workforce.
While years of experience and certification were previously used as measures of teacher quality in the state, the author, assistant commissioner Dr. Julia Rafal-Baer, suggests that these characteristics do not always imply quality teachers that will ensure student success.
Rafal-Baer went on to say that teachers are the most important factor when determining student success. She found that students who earned a Level 1 in math were 39 percentage points more likely to earn a Level 2 or higher if they were assigned to a teacher rated as Highly Effective during that time.
When broken down by race and ethnicity, the report found that Asian students were more likely to be assigned to teachers who were rated Effective or Highly Effective, whereas Black and Hispanic students were more likely to be assigned an ineffective teacher.
To combat this, the Department of Education suggests that each district and local education agency (LEA) look closely at their own data to determine how their students are placed locally in order to make their own decisions regarding how best to proceed. The state suggests using the TLE Continuum to improve the quality of teachers and principals across the state in addition to increasing student outcomes.
Recipients of the Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (STLE) grant offer examples of how LEAs have successfully used the TLE Continuum to help find the most effective educators. STLE districts who have shown the most promise address five talent management areas.
According to the report, 6%, or 2,400 teachers, of the around 40,000 who received a State growth rating for the 2013-14 school year were rated ineffective.
In order to ensure equitable access to effective teachers, the report suggests that multiple measures are used to teachers and principals who can serve as role models and mentors for those who need extra support. In addition, multiple talent management approaches should be used, including strategic staffing decisions.