Miami-Dade County Public Schools

Miami-Dade County Public Schools have created a pattern in teacher assignments which could be a disservice to their students. The Systematic Sorting: Teacher Characteristics and Class Assignments by Stanford University, discusses how less-experienced teachers and teachers with degrees from less-competitive colleges are often assigned to teach lower-achieving students in Miami-Dade Public Schools.

Stanford News reports:

Using extensive data from Miami-Dade, the authors compared the average achievement of teachers’ students in the year before the students were assigned to them. They discovered that certain teachers — those with less experience, those from less-competitive colleges, female teachers, and Black and Hispanic teachers — are more likely to work with lower-achieving students than are other teachers in the same school.

They found these patterns at both the elementary and middle/high school levels.

According to the researchers, teachers who have been at a school for a long time may be able to influence the assignment process in order to secure their preferred classes — for instance, classes with higher-achieving students. The study found that teachers with 10 or more years of experience, as well as teachers who have held leadership positions, are assigned higher-achieving students, on average.

Assigning lower-achieving students to inexperienced teachers could have significant repercussions. According to the researchers, it could increase turnover among new teachers, since novice teachers are more likely to quit when assigned more low-achieving students.

In addition, it could exacerbate within-school achievement gaps — for example, the Black-white gap. Since they are lower-achieving on average, minority and poor students are assigned to less-experienced teachers more often than white and non-poor students. Less-experienced teachers tend to be less effective, so this pattern is likely to reinforce the relationships between race and achievement and poverty and achievement, the researchers said.

“It is well-known that teachers systematically sort across schools, disadvantaging low-income, minority and low-achieving students,” said Demetra Kalogrides, a research associate at the Graduate School of Education’s Center for Education Policy Analysis and one of the study’s authors.

“Our findings are novel because they address the assignment of teachers to classes within schools. We cannot assume that teacher sorting stops at the school doors.”

It seems as though Miami-Dade county is ok with setting children up with familiar.


Read the full story here.

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