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New Report Reveals Low-Income, Minority Students Assigned to Less Effective Teachers

A new study from the Center for American Progress revealed that low-income, minority students tend to have less effective teachers.

Another recent study from the Annie E. Casey Foundation revealed there was a pattern of disadvantage for Black children, and this report may add more insight as to why that advantage gap exists.

In addition to being assigned less experienced teachers, it turns out that schools in low-income areas tend to staff more ineffective teachers than schools in higher-income areas.

Race To The Top funding has encouraged schools to adopt new teacher evaluations systems.

In Louisiana and Massachusetts these evaluations have been made public and have drawn attention to the drastic difference in teacher quality that exists in high-poverty schools.

Louisiana public schools rank teachers as being “ineffective,” “effective-emerging,” “effective-proficient,” or “highly effective.”

High poverty schools staff less effective teachers According to the teacher evaluation ratings from 2012 to 2013 in Louisiana, only about 20 percent of their teachers in high-poverty school districts were found to be highly effective, while nearly 40 percent of those in low-poverty schools were ranked as highly effective.

As for teachers with an “ineffective” rating, 6.8 percent of teachers in high-poverty schools were found to be ineffective and only 2.4 percent of teachers in low-poverty schools were given the same rating.

Schools in Massachusetts rated their teachers as “unsatisfactory,” “needs improvement,” “proficient,” or “exemplary.”

The results of their teacher evaluation ratings were just as troubling with students in high-poverty schools were much more likely to have unsatisfactory teachers or teachers who “need improvement.”

The study also looked into possible causes for the teacher ratings and found that many schools were given flexibility from No Child Left Behind requirements.

Educational gap between low income and high income schools The requirements were put in place so that states would put systems in place to equally distribute qualified teachers but waivers from those requirements have made the regulation relatively ineffective.

“Regardless of how it is measured, teacher quality is not distributed equitably across schools and districts,” the report stated. “Poor students and students of color are less likely to get well-qualified of high-value teachers than students from higher-income families or students who are white.”

The associate director for education research at American Progress, Jenny DeMonte, said one thing has been made very clear by the report.

“We’ve got some work to do,” DeMonte said.

She added that effective teachers are key to a child’s success in the future and the report makes it clear that low income, minority students may continue to be placed at a disadvantage if serious changes are not put in place soon.

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One thought on “New Report Reveals Low-Income, Minority Students Assigned to Less Effective Teachers

  1. The report should give more details about the framework used for the teachers' evaluations. Were all of the factors directly related to the teachers, i.e., teacher planning, teacher record keeping, teacher attendance, teacher content and standards knowledge; or were some of the factors somewhat out of the teachers' control, e.g., students' state exam results, student motivation to learn the standardized content, use of technology (when technology is unavailable)? It may seem like common sense to not include things out of the teacher's control but it happens; it is currently happening in NYC with the use of Danielson's framework and the former mayor's decision to include student test scores as a factor in teacher s' evalutions. If the states mentioned in the article have set specified criteria for all teachers to meet in order to be certified, how and why do differences begin to exist once the teachers are hired? Either there is a breakdown in the certification process or something about working in high poverty schools is affecting the teachers. What are the states doing to help teachers working with struggling/difficult students? The kind of support needed to work with low socioeconomic students is different than the kind of support needed to work with high socioeconomic students. This attack on teachers is getting out of hand; yes there may be some bad teachers, but teachers are not the end all be all for student success. When will society focus on other, greater, factors like parenting and the media's (especially black media's) glorification of all things nonacademic, e.g., basketball, football, negative reality television?

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