Monday, December 15, 2008

Where are the Strongest Teachers? Mapping the Distribution of Teacher Quality

Providing students with the highest quality of teaching is the paramount education issue framing the conversation over the next Secretary of Education, eclipsing principal leadership, accountability, and higher education. The latest report to shed light on the relationship between teacher quality and student achievement is from the Center for American Progress. The report, titled “Teacher Turnover, Tenure Policies, and the Distribution of Teacher Quality,” reviews existing literature and concludes:
On average, students with a teacher in the top quartile of the talent pool achieve at levels corresponding to an additional two or three months of instruction per year, compared with peers who have a teacher in the bottom quartile.
The report argues, as many have before, that public policies should direct the nation’s best teachers to the nation’s neediest schools. In reviewing what’s happening now, the report finds that high-poverty students see a disproportionate share of teachers who are less well-qualified, have had less success, and who have been around the teaching carousel more. The report ends by questioning the wholly grail of tenure and suggests that tenure be awarded more selectively to only the highest-performing teachers. Makes sense to me.

1 comment:

  1. great post eric! it made me think of this interesting article by malcolm gladwell in the early december new yorker about the difficulties in predicting teacher quality.