Obama highlights new administration effort to put high-quality teachers in high-needs schools

  • Article by: KIMBERLY HEFLING , Associated Press
  • Updated: July 7, 2014 - 11:45 AM

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is highlighting a new administration effort to place quality teachers in schools that need them the most.

He says it's unfortunate that the U.S. education system has "a problem" in which students who need skilled teachers the most are least likely to get them.

Obama credits good teachers with helping his career. He says he wants to make sure every child has similar access to excellent teachers.

Under the initiative announced Monday, the Education Department will ask states to develop plans to make sure very student has an effective teacher. It's also investing $4.2 million to help states and districts create the plans and put them into place.

Obama commented before having lunch at the White House with Education Secretary Arne Duncan and four teachers.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Education Department on Monday announced a new initiative to attract quality teachers to the schools that need them most.

As part of the initiative, the Education Department said it will ask states to develop new, comprehensive educator equity plans. It is also investing $4.2 million to start a new technical assistance network to help states and districts create and implement their plans.

President Barack Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan are scheduled to lunch with teachers Monday at the White House to discuss the issue. Duncan will also participate later Monday in a discussion on the topic with teachers and principals.

"Despite the excellent work and deep commitment of our nation's teachers and principals, systemic inequities exist that shortchange students in high-poverty, high-minority schools across our country," Duncan said in a statement.

Black and American Indian students are four times as likely as their white peers to go to a school where more than 20 percent of teachers are in their first year, according to Education Department statistics. The same data show that Latino students are three times as likely.

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Follow Kimberly Hefling on Twitter: http://twitter.com/khefling

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