Many states are ramping up their efforts to ensure student access to quality teachers, regardless of the students’ race, ethnicity, household income, or any of the other factors that have too often come to determine the quality of education provided to children across the country.
“All parents understand that strong teaching is fundamental to strong opportunities for their children. We as a country should treat that opportunity as a right that every family has—regardless of race, ethnicity or national origin, zip code, wealth, or first language,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a statement.
According to a Department of Education release last week, 33 states and the District of Columbia have department-approved plans to “ensure equitable access to excellent educators.”
In Alabama, the efforts are manifesting themselves in the new “Professional Pathways for Alabama Teachers” program, a pilot tiered-certification system that seeks to offer career-development opportunities for Alabama teachers that will help attract and support new teachers while improving retention and increasing recognition of the efforts of those who have been effective.
In Michigan, the “Michigan Teacher Corps” looks to attract and retain skilled teachers in the state’s lowest-performing schools that disproportionately serve low-income families and students of color.
In Howard County, Maryland, the local school district is partnering with McDaniel College on a new initiative they’re calling “Teachers for Tomorrow,” which looks to provide country students with a four-year paid internship experience that begins the moment they graduate from high school and prepares them to teach in the schools that reared them.