How Poor & Minority Students are Shortchanged on Teacher Quality

Posted by on January 29, 2007

[posted from Public Education Network newsblast]


A comprehensive study by The Education Trust has finally proven what anecdotal evidence has long suggested: Poorly qualified teachers drag down student achievement. The study demonstrated that elementary and high school students — even those in middle- and upper-income families — post higher scores on state exams and are more prepared for college if they attend schools where teacher quality is ranked high. Low-income and minority children benefit the most from good teachers, the study found. In Illinois’ poorest elementary schools with low-teacher quality, the average pass rate on state tests was 31%. But in similar low-income schools with higher-ranked teachers, the rate jumped to 43%. The researchers evaluated teachers in Illinois, Wisconsin and Ohio, ranking schools according to a teacher quality score. In Illinois, that score was determined by five factors: the average college entrance exam score of all teachers in the school; results on the teacher licensing test of basic skills; a national ranking of college attended; years of experience; and number of teachers with provisional credentials. All of the state’s 3,800 public schools were evaluated.

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