Systemic challenges in the educator workforce require thoughtful and bold actions, and ESSA presents a unique opportunity for states to reaffirm, modify, or improve their vision of educator effectiveness. This GTL Center discussion guide focuses on one challenge that states face as part of this work: defining ineffective teacher in the absence of highly qualified teacher (HQT) requirements. According to ESSA, states now must ensure that low-income and minority students are not served at disproportionate rates by ineffective teachers, as opposed to unqualified ones. However, the law does not define ineffective teachers, allowing each state to determine its own definition.
This guide presents three key questions for defining ineffective teachers to help state leaders and their stakeholders engage in a meaningful discussion to develop a definition that works in their unique state context.
- Discussion Question 1: Should your state define ineffective teacher using evaluation data, a new measure, existing HQT data, locally determined measures, or take another approach?
- Discussion Question 2: How can your state consider the preponderance of evidence when defining ineffective teachers?
- Discussion Question 3: Should your state define ineffective teachers as those who have not reached the bar of effective?