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Nation’s Top Experts to Discuss Increasing Teacher Quality and Retention in the Wake of No Child Left Behind Education Law

Press Release:

Nation’s Top Experts to Discuss Increasing Teacher Quality and Retention in the Wake of No Child Left Behind Education Law

Alliance for Excellent Education Hosts Forum Dedicated to National Goal of Ensuring a Highly Qualified Teacher in Every Classroom

The U.S. education system is facing a crisis: there are not enough teachers available to adequately staff the nation’s classrooms. As school districts nationwide scramble to meet the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act – including a mandate that all teachers must be “highly qualified” by the 2005-2006 school year – this crisis is growing.

Few dispute the importance of finding and keeping qualified teachers for our nation’s children. In fact, a survey earlier this year conducted by Peter Hart and Robert Teeter found that 83% of Americans are in favor of increased spending to raise teacher salaries so that schools can hire and retain good teachers – even if it means paying more taxes.

Although the U.S. higher education system is producing more than 100,000 graduates with bachelor’s degrees in education each year – many schools are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain the teachers. Many experienced teachers are reaching retirement age at the same time that school enrollments are increasing. Others are leaving the profession early because of low pay and difficult working conditions. New teachers are too often hired and placed in classrooms without support systems in place to assure their success; many leave after only a year or two.

What can be done to reverse these trends? On December 12, 2002, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., the Alliance for Excellent Education and the American Association of School Administrators are convening a two-hour forum in the First Amendment Room at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Distinguished experts will discuss ways to achieve the national goal of a qualified teacher in every classroom. The panel will be moderated by Emmy-award winning reporter Nancy Mathis. Panel experts include:

  • Wendy Kopp, founder and president of Teach for America;
  • Thomas Carroll, executive director of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future;
  • Francine Lawrence, president of the Toledo Federation of Teachers;
  • Sharon Robinson, president of the Educational Testing Service’s Educational Policy Leadership Institute; and,
  • Segun Eubanks, director of the National Education Association’s Teacher Quality Department.

The panel discussion will be preceded by introductions and a brief overview of the reports by:

  • Susan Frost, Executive Director of the Alliance for Excellent Education, and Scott Joftus, Policy Director, Alliance for Excellent Education;
  • Paul Houston, President, American Association for School Administrators; and,
  • Brenda Welburn, Executive Director, National Association of State Boards of Education.

For more information about the Forum or to request advance interviews, please contact Debbie Pickford at (202) 955-9450.

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The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington-based policy, research, and advocacy organization that works to make every child a graduate, prepared for postsecondary education and success in life. It is funded by the Leeds Family, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Daniels Fund, and the New York Community Trust, as well as by concerned individuals.

For more information about the Alliance for Excellent Education, please visit: www.all4ed.org.

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