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Recommendations for Equitable Distribution of Teachers Submitted to the U.S. Department of Education


Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act requires states and districts to ensure that teachers of core subjects are highly qualified and that students from low-income families and students of color are not taught by inexperienced, unqualified, or out-of-field teachers at rates higher than those for other students. The latter provision, known as the teacher equity clause, is an attempt by federal policy to rectify one of the major problems facing low-performing schools that serve large numbers of low-income students and students of color. Research shows that students who have access to three consecutive years of effective teachers can overcome learning obstacles and close achievement gaps. However, low-performing schools are generally staffed by teachers who lack the experience, qualifications, and effectiveness needed to succeed in the classroom, making it more challenging to attract and retain effective teachers. High-poverty schools tend to have higher attrition rates, provide less access to effective teachers overall, and offer students with the greatest need less access to the most effective teachers in the school.