A Strong Foundation

Three State Policy Priorities to Give Every Student Effective, Diverse Teachers

State policies can lay the groundwork for big improvements in teacher hiring and retention. Here’s how.

When it comes to ensuring every student gets great teachers, state governments play a crucial and underappreciated role. Without access to the right data, school systems will struggle to match the supply and demand for new teachers. Without certification policies that prioritize student impact over paper credentials, too many talented people will be shut out of the teaching profession. And without pressure to prioritize teacher diversity, many preparation programs simply won’t.

In this issue brief, we outline a policy agenda that can help boost the number of great teachers in any state:

  • Strengthening teacher pipelines
  • Improving certification rules
  • Diversifying the teacher workforce.

Along with our recommendations, we share examples of states that have implemented some of these policy ideas—and stories from practitioners showing why they matter. We also compiled detailed profiles of the teacher policy landscape in eight data-rich states—Arkansas, California, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Texas—which you can access individually below.

We hope it’s a useful resource for state leaders and advocates who are committed to giving every student the effective, diverse teachers they deserve.

Imali Ariyarathne, seventh-grade teacher at Langston Hughes Academy, stands in front of her students while introducing them to the captivating world of science

Imali Ariyarathne, seventh-grade teacher at Langston Hughes Academy, introduces her students to the captivating world of science.

About TNTP

TNTP is the nation’s leading research, policy, and consulting organization dedicated to transforming America’s public education system, so that every generation thrives.

Today, we work side-by-side with educators, system leaders, and communities across 39 states and over 6,000 districts nationwide to reach ambitious goals for student success.

Yet the possibilities we imagine push far beyond the walls of school and the education field alone. We are catalyzing a movement across sectors to create multiple pathways for young people to achieve academic, economic, and social mobility.

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