In Instead of Looking for Godot, Looking for An Effective Teacher moi said:
In Trying to Discover What makes An Effective Teacher? moi said:
In New Study Questions Use of Student Test Results to Grade Teachers moi said:
One of the big issues in contract negotiations between the Seattle School District and Seattle Education Association is how teachers will be evaluated and whether the results of student testing will be part of teacher evaluations. Valerie Strauss has an article in the Washington Post about a new study which questions the use of student testing in the teacher evaluation process and the article includes links to the full report. In Study Blast Popular Teacher Evaluation Method Strauss reports:
Student standardized test scores are not reliable indicators of how effective any teacher is in the classroom, not even with the addition of new “value-added” methods, according to a study released today. It calls on policymakers and educators to stop using test scores as a central factor in holding teachers accountable…..
Every population of kids is different and they arrive at school at various points on the ready to learn continuum. Schools and teachers must be accountable, but there should be various measures of judging teacher effectiveness for a particular population of children. Perhaps, more time and effort should be spent in developing a strong principal corps and giving principals the training and assistance in evaluation and mentoring techniques.
Three recent articles examine teacher effectiveness from the perspective of students training to become teachers, teachers, and students. The first article examines a very effective teacher training program. Amy Hetzner and Becky Vevea of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel have written the article, How Best to Educate Future Teachers which is part of a series
Dave Eggers and NÍnive Clements Calegari have a provocative article in the New York Times, The High Cost of Low Teacher Salaries
At the moment, the average teacher’s pay is on par with that of a toll taker or bartender. Teachers make 14 percent less than professionals in other occupations that require similar levels of education. In real terms, teachers’ salaries have declined for 30 years. The average starting salary is $39,000; the average ending salary — after 25 years in the profession — is $67,000. This prices teachers out of home ownership in 32 metropolitan areas, and makes raising a family on one salary near impossible.
So how do teachers cope? Sixty-two percent work outside the classroom to make ends meet. For Erik Benner, an award-winning history teacher in Keller, Tex., money has been a constant struggle. He has two children, and for 15 years has been unable to support them on his salary. Every weekday, he goes directly from Trinity Springs Middle School to drive a forklift at Floor and Décor. He works until 11 every night, then gets up and starts all over again. Does this look like “A Plan,” either on the state or federal level?
We’ve been working with public school teachers for 10 years; every spring, we see many of the best teachers leave the profession. They’re mowed down by the long hours, low pay, the lack of support and respect.
The Center for American Progress has a new report by Frank Adamson and Linda Darling Hammond.
In the report, Speaking of Salaries: What It Will Take to Get Qualified, Effective Teachers In All Communities Adamson and Darling- Hammond write:
As Education Trust President Kati Haycock has noted, the usual statistics about teacher credentials, as shocking as they are, actually understate the degree of the problem in the most impacted schools:
The fact that only 25% of the teachers in a school are uncertified doesn’t mean that the other 75% are fine. More often, they are either brand new, assigned to teach out of field, or low-performers on the licensure exam … there are, in other words, significant numbers of schools that are essentially dumping grounds for unqualified teachers – just as they are dumping grounds for the children they serve.
The problem of inequitably distributed teachers has continued to be a widespread major concern despite the intentions expressed in NCLB as well as noteworthy progress in some states. Disparity in the access of rich and poor children to well-qualified teachers is one of the constant issues surfaced in the more than 40 state school finance suits that are currently active across the country.
Efforts to address the issue—ranging from training subsidies and bonus pay to alternative pathways into teaching—have been only erratically helpful. In January 2011 a coalition of more than 70 civil rights, disability, parent, community, and education groups, concerned by congressional efforts to lower the standards for highly qualified teachers so not-yet-prepared recruits would be deemed qualified, called on the president and Congress to develop a more effective set of national policies “that will allow the nation to put a well-prepared and effective teacher in every classroom.”
This study examines how and why teacher quality is so inequitably distributed by reviewing research and examining data from California and New York—two large states that face similar demographic diversity and educational challenges. Although New York’s schools are, on average, much better funded—at more than $17,000 per pupil in state and local funding in 2007, compared to California’s $9,700—both experience a wide range of funding across districts, as is true in most states in the country.
In this paper we examine how funding, salaries, and teacher qualifications vary across districts and how these variations affect achievement. We explore whether and to what extent unequal salaries and the district revenues that underlie pay and working conditions may be at the root of the teacher distribution problem. We briefly review the literature on these questions and present analyses from California and New York state. In addition, we discuss strategies that have proven to be successful in recruiting qualified and effective teachers to high-need schools, and we draw implications for federal policy that may finally resolve this dilemma that has for so long reinforced the achievement gap.
We document large differences in school funding across and within states, and we find that the large inequalities in teacher qualifications in the two states we studied are strongly related to differentials in overall school funding and teacher salaries. These differentials are associated with student achievement as well.
In looking at states that have successfully boosted student achievement in conjunction with hiring and retaining better qualified teachers, we find strategies that:
Improve and equalize salaries to improve the pool of teachers and level the playing field across districts
Simultaneously raise teacher standards and teachers’ knowledge and skills through strengthened preparation and licensing standards, strengthened evaluation for teachers and school leaders, and extensive professional development
Improve beginning teacher retention in order to improve effectiveness and lower the wasteful costs of high attrition by developing high-quality mentoring and performance-based induction systems
Federal policy can leverage strong steps toward ensuring every child has access to adequate school resources and quality teachers. To address the inequities outlined in this paper, we recommend that Congress should:
Equalize allocations of ESEA resources across states so high-poverty states receive their fair share of funding and inequities across states are lessened
Enforce existing ESEA comparability provisions to ensure equitable funding and equally qualified teachers to schools serving different populations of students
Assess progress on resource equity in state plans and evaluations under the law, and require states to meet standards of resource equity—including the availability of well-qualified teachers—for schools identified as failing.
Download this report (pdf)
Download the executive summary (pdf)
New Teachers Group: Educators for Excellence Is Growing
US News to Grade Teacher Colleges
Ability to Navigate the Bureaucracy, Another Trait of the Effective Teacher
Dr. Wilda may be contacted at [email protected]
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