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The Latest News & Notes


The latest teacher quality news and announcements from the U.S. Department of Education and national organizations.

U.S. Department of Education Launches Website Dedicated to IDEA Regulations
The U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs has launched a new website, Building the Legacy: IDEA 2004, dedicated to helping interpret and implement the new IDEA regulations. Visitors can browse major topic areas, including highly qualified teachers, alignment with the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, and private schools.

Secretary Spellings Issues Guidance for Future Use of HOUSSE
In a September 5, 2006, key policy letter from the U.S. Department of Education (ED), Secretary Margaret Spellings issued guidance about the future use of the high objective uniform state standard of evaluation (HOUSSE), which includes ED's intent to "pursue the further phaseout of HOUSSE procedures through the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)."

U.S. Department of Education Announces the Teacher Incentive Fund
The fiscal year 2006 federal budget includes the Teacher Incentive Fund, which provides $450 million in state formula grants to reward effective teachers and offer incentives for highly qualified teachers to teach in high-poverty schools. The remaining $50 million funds competitive grants to state education agencies, local education agencies, and nonprofit organizations for the design and implementation of performance-based compensation systems to develop effective models that other districts could adopt to improve teacher compensation systems.

Loan Forgiveness up to $17,500 for Science, Mathematics, and Special Education Teachers
The Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005 authorizes up to $17,500 in student loan forgiveness for certain No Child Left Behind (NCLB)–defined highly qualified full-time secondary mathematics and science teachers as well as certain highly qualified full-time special education teachers who primarily provide specialized education to students with disabilities.


The latest teacher quality tools, resources, and information.

U.S. Department of Education to host Teacher-to-Teacher Free Summer Workshops
The U.S. Department of Education will host its annual regional summer teacher workshop series for teachers to learn best practices from fellow educators who have had success in raising student achievement.

Planning Tool to Provide Evidence of Progress Toward Equitable Teacher Distribution (September 2006) (Adobe® Reader® PDF 177 KB)
"States, districts, and schools have an obligation to work toward ensuring that all students—regardless of race, poverty, or geography—have access to highly qualified teachers. Moreover, states, districts, and schools have a responsibility to make concerted efforts toward reducing the concentration of underqualified teachers in high-poverty schools." This planning tool will help states address the types of data that might be useful in demonstrating that they have made significant progress in this effort.

HQT Revised State Plans
The U.S. Department of Education has posted the Highly Qualified Teachers Revised State Plans that were submitted by each state. Available are Word document downloads with peer reviewer comments for each state's plan.

Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) Partnerships for State Teacher Equity Plans (Microsoft® Word®)
CCSSO's State Teacher Quality Network developed a tool to help state education agencies take stock of activities currently under way in their states in order to achieve equitable distribution of teachers.

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Learning Point Associates Education Commission of the States Educational Testing Services Vanderbilt University