Teacher and Principal Effectiveness

Issue Brief and Resources

Strengthening Teacher Quality

Research indicates that no other school-related factor has a greater impact on student achievement than the ability of the student’s teacher, which has led to an increased focus on this issue by Congress.

Why Is This Important To Your School District?

Teacher quality is inextricably linked to improving student achievement, and school districts nationwide face challenges involving teacher recruitment and retention, particularly in high-need subjects and hard-to-staff schools. Although hiring decisions are the responsibility of local school districts, Congress can assist districts and states in recruiting, supporting, and retaining qualified and effective teachers.

What to Tell Congress: NSBA's Position

  • Assist districts and states in recruiting and retaining qualified and effective teachers through federal incentives and grants, with a specific focus on hard-to-staff schools and high-need subjects.
  • Improve the Highly Qualified Teacher requirements in NCLB by streamlining existing requirements and incorporating practical flexibility, especially for teachers of multiple core subjects, special education, and in rural schools.
  • Assist districts and states in strengthening professional development by redirecting a portion of NCLB's sanctions toward professional development programs.
  • Support alternative certification programs to broaden the pool of new and effective teacher candidates.
  • Strengthen teacher preparation programs and ensure alignment with NCLB requirements.
  • Facilitate and disseminate quality research and best practices on effective teaching.

Visit our Legislative Action Center to find out what's happening in Congress now.


Looking for more information? See what’s Inside Teacher and Principal Effectiveness on the right.

Additional Resources

Transforming the Teaching Profession: NSBA Helps Build Shared Vision
May 23, 2012 - Building on collective efforts and attendance at the U.S. Department of Education’s 2012 Labor Management Conference, NSBA joined Secretary Duncan and six other national education leaders in continuing the conference’s theme of transforming the teaching profession by releasing a shared vision document that paved the way toward achieving that. Titled, Transforming the Teaching Profession, the document outlines steps that states, school districts, and the federal government must take to recruit, prepare, and support teachers through their careers.

NSBA Issue Brief: Teacher and Principal Effectiveness
Learn more about NSBA's position on teacher and principal effectiveness.

NSBA Comments on Teacher Incentive Fund Program
March 29, 2010 - NSBA submits comments to the U.S. Department of Education.

Analysis of Select Teacher/Principal Legislation in the 111th Congress
A summary/analysis of several bills that have been introduced in this Congress.

Guiding Principles for Teacher Incentive Compensation Plans
The principles outlined in this document have been developed jointly by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the National Education Association (NEA) and the National School Boards Association (NSBA). The principles were designed to offer guidance to our local leaders and members if they choose to participate in the U.S. Department of Education Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grant program, which requires incentive compensation plans. Just as these principles have been developed jointly, we strongly believe that TIF incentive compensation plans—in order to be successful and sustainable as part of a school improvement system—must be developed collaboratively with the relevant stakeholders.

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