by Zena H. Rudo

A Best-Fit Approach to Effective Teacher Policy

In this Edition

SEDL invited Jennifer King Rice, PhD, to share her best-fit decision making approach to improving teacher resources. This issue describes her model and provides guidance on its use.


Many education agencies feel an enormous strain to meet the federal mandate that all teachers be highly qualified. State and local policies must be established that address effective ways to hire, train, support, and retain teachers who meet the standards specified in the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation. To help policymakers with the difficult decisions they face when evaluating existing policies, establishing new policies, and seeking necessary resources related to improving teacher resources, Jennifer King Rice, Ph.D. from the University of Maryland developed a "best-fit" decision making approach.

images of two people putting together a puzzle with large puzzle pieces.

SEDL invited Rice to share her best-fit model at our 2003 Annual Policy Forum, "Teacher Resources and Student Success." State policymakers from our five-state region, our policy staff, and Rice discussed what we know about teacher quality from research, practice, and policy and how we might go about making informed decisions on how to invest in teacher resources. That is, investment in resources that are both fiscal and nonfiscal, such as teacher compensation, teacher qualifications and skills, and teacher preparation and development.

Next Page: Why Focus on Teacher Resources?

Published in Insights on Educational Policy, Practice, and Research Number 17, September 2004, A Best-Fit Approach to Effective Teacher Policy