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Actions Over Credentials: Moving from Highly Qualified to Measurably Effective


by Joshua Barnett & Audrey Amrein-Beardsley — August 18, 2011

For decades, policymakers have promulgated legislation that requires schools to hire effective teachers in all classrooms. Simultaneously, the education research community has attempted to define what effective teachers do in the classroom. A decade ago, No Child Left Behind provided a framework for defining effective teachers as “highly qualified,” which required schools to ensure all of their teachers fit the new standard. This standard, however, is no longer appropriate, as continued evidence indicates that the relationship between credentials and achievement is tenuous. Therefore, policymakers and researchers need to revise the term “highly qualified,” and, by utilizing the advances in educational accountability over the previous decade, replace it with a term grounded in practice and directly connected to achievement and effectiveness.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: August 18, 2011
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 16517, Date Accessed: 10/20/2017 3:19:19 AM

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About the Author
  • Joshua Barnett
    Arizona State University
    E-mail Author
    JOSHUA BARNETT is an assistant professor of education policy in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. His research interests include education reform, educational equity, and teacher quality. He has worked to improve teacher quality and student achievement in Arkansas, Arizona, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, as well as internationally in New Zealand. He earned his Ph.D. in public policy in 2007 from the University of Arkansas.
  • Audrey Amrein-Beardsley
    Arizona State University
    E-mail Author
    AUDREY AMREIN-BEARDSLEY, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. Audrey's research interests include educational policy, research methods, and more specifically, high-stakes tests and value-added measurements and systems. She is also the creator and host of a show titled Inside the Academy during which she interviews some of the top educational researchers in the academy (http://insidetheacademy.asu.edu
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