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State and District Teacher Effectiveness Grants

In addition to proposing a new investment in infrastructure, a grant program is needed that would provide seed money for states and districts to implement a range of reforms that focus on teacher effectiveness.

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Some of the most important challenges for promoting teacher effectiveness are challenges of implementation—how to structure new pay systems, how to design rigorous evaluation systems and ensure that meaningful consequences and supports are attached to them, and how to make a rigorous tenure system both fair and effective.

Therefore, in addition to proposing a new investment in infrastructure, a grant program is needed that would provide seed money for states and districts to implement a range of reforms that focus on teacher effectiveness. In the proposed grant program, states and districts would apply to implement a menu of reforms, which may include changes to compensation systems, tenure systems, and teacher evaluation systems to reflect an effectiveness approach.

While states and districts don’t currently have the knowledge and the tools they need to make a wholesale shift from a qualifications focus to an effectiveness focus, federal money can invest in building these tools and spur experimentation, without which this shift is not likely to occur.

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