May 22, 2018
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May 11, 2009

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NGA Center Report Offers Framework for Human Capital Development in Education


WASHINGTON—Recognizing the critical role teachers and principals play in producing students who are highly skilled and able to compete in a global economy, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) today released a new report aimed at helping governors attract and retain the most effective educators. Building a High-Quality Education Workforce: A Governor’s Guide to Human Capital Development highlights innovative, integrated approaches states can use to address human capital challenges and bolster the education workforce.


“Effective, well-trained teachers and principals are vital to the success of students in every state,” said NGA Chair Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell. “To improve student achievement and outcomes, states must invest strategically in our education workforce.”


After parents, the quality of teachers is the most important factor in determining student success,” said Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. “More needs to be done to aggressively recruit, train and keep good teachers. States are leading the way with innovative programs, like Minnesota’s Q Comp, that provide structured professional development and evaluation and pay teachers based on performance.”   


In addition to examining state best practices in human capital strategy, the guide provides a framework for states to develop a high-quality education workforce. In particular, it recommends three broad actions states should take in tandem to improve teacher and principal effectiveness:


  • Selectively recruit prospective teachers and principals to the profession;

  • Improve the preservice training of prospective teachers and principals; and

  • Work to retain the most effective teachers and principals.


The guide also provides concrete strategies states can use to implement the recommendations, such as supporting strong teacher and principal preparation programs, reforming licensure regulations and paying teachers and principals for the contributions they make toward improving student learning. Other strategies include providing teachers and principals with feedback about their effectiveness, monitoring and improving working conditions and developing data systems that provide states with information on the recruitment and retention of effective educators.


“We are pleased that governors and other state policymakers are paying attention to the crucial role of school leaders in improving schools and raising student achievement,” said Richard Laine, education director at The Wallace Foundation. “Research tells us that not only is leadership the catalyst that makes it possible for teachers to do their best, it is the main reason that teachers are attracted to and remain in high-needs schools.”

In addition to examining state best practices in human capital strategy, the guide provides the following research regarding minorities:

• Hispanic and African-American students are typically four grade levels
behind their Caucasian peers;
• Only a little more than half of all Hispanics and African-American
students graduate from high school;
• The United States ranks eighth among member nations of the Organisation
for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) in the
size of achievement gaps in mathematics and sixth in the size of
achievement gaps in problemsolving;
• Minority students in urban areas are more likely to be taught by novice
teachers who may not have the content knowledge to teach the
courses assigned to them; and
• Minority students in urban areas are more likely to attend a school led
by a principal who is rated by teachers as being “weak.”


For full report, go to:


Founded in 1908, the National Governors Association (NGA) is the collective voice of the nation’s governors and one of Washington, D.C.’s most respected public policy organizations. Its members are the governors of the 50 states, three territories and two commonwealths. NGA provides governors and their senior staff members with services that range from representing states on Capitol Hill and before the Administration on key federal issues to developing and implementing innovative solutions to public policy challenges through the NGA Center for Best Practices. For more information, visit


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