Congresswoman McCarthy Introduces Teacher and Principal Improvement Act
Bill Draws on ASCD's Work to Support the Ongoing Career Development of Educators
Alexandria, VA (05/24/10)—Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) recently introduced the Teacher and Principal Improvement Act [HR 5336], to provide resources to school districts to implement comprehensive induction programs for new teachers and high-quality professional development for all teachers, principals, and administrators. The bill would provide $1 billion in targeted assistance to schools to develop and support effective teachers, principals, and school leaders through implementation of proven, team-based strategies.
"When it's all said and done, the students are the top priority, and by improving teacher and principal quality and the accountability of administrators, we ensure our students have access to the best possible education," said McCarthy. "I am introducing this bill so that teachers and administrators will receive the necessary tools and support to teach effectively. Our education system desperately needs a comprehensive method for measuring the impact of teachers and principals on student achievement so that everyone wins."
ASCD worked with McCarthy's office in developing this legislation, which is aligned with the association's legislative priorities to support systematic approaches to the career development of educators. ASCD Executive Director Gene R. Carter commended McCarthy for recognizing that improving teacher and principal quality is critical to raising student achievement and turning around struggling schools. Carter, a former school superintendent, said the legislation is significant for the following reasons:
- It formalizes educator support by providing dedicated time during the school week for high-quality mentoring, establishing multiyear induction for new teachers and principals, and requiring professional development that closely aligns with school needs.
- It provides for professional development for all educators—not just teachers—to foster a coordinated, schoolwide approach to improvement.
- It requires formal evaluation of the funded programs to ensure they meet the needs of the teachers, administrators, and students being served.
"The Teacher and Principal Improvement Act includes several important measures that will help move schools away from one-time teacher workshops that have little effect on classroom practice to ongoing, job-embedded professional development that results in student learning gains," said Carter.
McCarthy's legislation is the companion to the Senate bill introduced by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and George LeMieux (R-FL) last month. ASCD is asking members to contact their lawmakers in support of the legislation. Educator effectiveness is a top Obama administration reform priority, and ASCD will be working to enact this important legislation and advocating its inclusion as a central part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization.
- David Griffith, policy director, at 1-703-575-5621 or by e-mail
- Barbara Michelman, communications director, at 1-703-575-5764 or by e-mail