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NCLB: Will Duncan Plan Address Teacher Inequities?

All Matt Yglesias really wanted to do was to give a shout-out to a colleague at the Center on American Progress, but instead his post about teacher salaries generated heat and disdain from readers.  The point he was trying to make -- an extremely worthwhile and too long ignored issue -- is that the Duncan blueprint proposes to address the long-vexing issue of teacher distribution within districts.  Many districts let the best teachers pool together in a handful of schools rather than spreading them out or even targeting them where they're most needed -- a practice that undercuts nearly everything that Title I (currently NCLB) is supposed to do.  

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Teacher comparability is sure to be a sticking point in ESEA reauthorization. The Blueprint is short on details for revamping the provision but dramatic changes need to be made. Check out our post on this issue here: http://edmoney.newamerica.net/blogposts/2010/fleshing_out_title_i_comparability_in_obamas_blueprint-29279

Good point. The within-district funding disparities can be huge, and they seldom get the attention they need.

To quibble with some language, though: When you write that districts "let the best teachers pool together in a handful of schools rather than spreading them out or even targeting them where they're most needed," you make it sound like districts can easily deploy teachers like troops. That's not really the case. It's the incentives that are all messed up.

good comments, jennifer and claus --
interesting to see that the comparability language may not be as strong as CAP has made it seem, and to be reminded about the issue of teacher preference.

indeed, teachers are long used to going where they can or want, and sometimes seniority is involved in that. but if we're going to get anywhere with making schools better, i'd argue, we're going to have to spread our talent a little more evenly. it can't just be the newbies and probies who have to teach in the toughest schools.

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