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Teacher Quality: Two Views


According to All Talk, No Action, a new report by the Education Trust, "classes in high-poverty schools are 77 percent more likely [emphasis is theirs] to be assigned to an out-of-field teacher than classes in low-poverty schools. Classes in majority non-white schools are over 40 percent more likely to be assigned to an out-of-field teacher than those in mostly-white schools." In addition, the percentage of uncertified teachers in schools in which more than half the students are poor or minority is four to five times that of schools with fewer poor and minority students. And teachers in high-poverty, high-minority schools are much more likely than other teachers to have failed certification tests and to have poor academic records.

High teacher-attrition rates and the reluctance of experienced educators to teach in poor and high-minority schools have resulted in a double standard in many states, where stringent requirements for teacher quality are routinely circumvented by emergency "deferments" and alternate qualification standards.

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