The Federal Department of Education has given the go ahead to Rhode Island's plan to address inequities in the distribution of highly-qualified teachers and principals.
In creating the plan, the State Department of Education conducted a study, which found that high poverty, high minority schools are the most likely to have inexperienced teachers and principals on staff. The study also found that middle schools have the highest percentage of inexperienced teachers.
Rhode Island's plan to address the problem, "Ensuring Equitable Access to Excellent Teachers," includes steps to better train teachers and principals to take on the challenges of high poverty schools, and efforts to recruit and retain better teachers. It also calls for a review of compensation and hiring practices to increase diversity among teachers.
Federal Education Secretary Arne Duncan pointed to Rhode Island as one of just a few states to include principals in the plan. Duncan announced approval on Thursday for 16 states' plans to improve equitable access to high-quality teachers.