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The Center for American Progress issued a report on Friday that confirms that low-income students of color not only have less experienced teachers, but also less effective teachers.

The study analyzes teacher evaluation scores in low-income and affluent districts in both Massachusetts and Louisiana.

In Louisiana, a student within a school at the highest-poverty quartile is almost three times as likely to be taught by a teacher rated “ineffective” as a student in a school in the lowest-poverty quartile. And in Massachusetts, students in high-poverty schools are three times as likely to be taught by a teacher rated “unsatisfactory” than students in low-poverty schools.

A second report indicates the root cause is an unequal distribution of teachers. While No Child Left Behind previously asked states to devise plans to ensure equitable distribution, subsequent waivers gave states the flexibility to deviate from those requirements.

“Poor students and students of color are less likely to get well-qualified or high-achieving teachers than students from higher-income families or students who are white,” says the report.

The associate director for education research at American Progress, Jenny DeMonte, told the Huffington Post “We’ve got some work to do.

She suggests districts should give effective teachers incentives to work in disadvantaged districts and create mentorship programs that pair effective teachers with struggling ones.

“Regardless of how you splice it or measure it, this continues to be something we need to think about. Having an effective teacher is a key driver in whether a student achieves and learns a lot,” DeMonte said.

I think we already knew all this. How ’bout we set a plan in action?


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  • Allie

    Well first of all programs like Teach For America, put unqualified (people without formal teacher training) into at risk schools. They’re training only during the summer. They’re not education majors and usually very white.

    Secondly research proves that it takes 5 years to truly become a master educator. There is high turnover at low performing schools so only new teachers are placed there aka they’re the only ones to take the job. Older seasoned teachers stay in schools where there is less top down reform (they know what they’re doing, they don’t need people that have never taught telling them what to do) *TFA only requires a 2 yr stay. *

    But what people fail to realize is that it’s cheaper to hire younger teachers as well as those who de-professionalize the profession. I’m one of the most seasoned teachers at my school I’ve only taught for two years.

    Thirdly No one has clear understanding of what makes an effective educator, as a one who truly understands research-you cannot quantify teacher quality and student achievement…too many variables.

    It’s propaganda

  • Jenb

    Is this a surprise? Poor neighborhoods means less resources. With a lack of resources and kids that come from disadvantaged homes, these teachers are more likely to seem ‘less qualified.’ If you have to teach students who can’t read on the level they should (no funding for extra help) using books that are from 2001, what do you expect?? I would like to see if the less qualified teachers would become more qualified if they taught at a rich white school that had everything they needed…….

  • Meek Meek

    Education in the inner city, at risk schools, are hands down the worst. These schools are literally setting these kids up for failure….

  • douglas

    First and foremost let´s be realistic. Teachers think that is poor neiborhood schools where crime is higher there is more danger so the only teachers they can get are the unqualified ones. Eventhough to be realistic schools is white or prominet areas normally have more cases of a kid walking in the school and shooting everybody.