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Eric.ed.gov – The Narrowing Gap in New York City Teacher Qualifications and Its Implications for Student Achievement in High-Poverty Schools. Working Paper 10

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Studies have found substantial sorting of teachers across schools, with the schools with the highest proportions of poor, non-white, and low-scoring students having the least qualified teachers as measured by certification, exam performance, and inexperience (Lankford, Loeb and Wyckoff, 2002). Yet, there have been substantial changes in the educational policy landscape over the past five years. New laws, including the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), have changed requirements for teachers. Assessment-based accountability policies at the state-level have created standards and increased oversight of schools, especially those with low-achieving students. New routes into teaching, many with fewer requirements before teaching, have changed the cost for individuals to enter the teaching profession. These changes have affected teacher labor markets profoundly. In this paper the authors examine these changes, asking how the distribution of teachers has changed in recent years and what the implications of these changes are for students. They examine three questions: (1) How has the distribution of teaching qualifications between schools with concentrations of poor students and those with more affluent students changed over the last five years?; (2) What effects are the changes in observed teacher qualifications likely to have on student achievement?; and (3) What implications do these findings have for improving policies and programs aimed at recruiting highly effective teachers? This study uses data on New York City teachers, students, and schools to address these questions. The authors find that measurable characteristics of teachers are more equal across schools in 2005 than they were in 2000. Schools with large proportions of poor students and students of color, on average, have teachers whose observable qualifications are much stronger than they were five years ago. Nonetheless, a meaningful number of schools with large proportions of poor students did not demonstrate such improvement. Changes in these observed qualifications of teachers account for a modest improvement in the average achievement of students in the poorest schools. More importantly, the results suggest that recruiting teachers with stronger observed qualifications, e.g., math SAT scores or certification status, could substantially improve student achievement. The following are appended: (1) Average School Qualifications of Teachers by Percent of Students in School Who Are Black or Hispanic, 2000 and 2005; (2) Average School Qualifications of Teachers by Percent of Students in School Who Scored at Level 1 on 4th Grade ELA Exam, 2000 and 2005; (3) Average School Qualifications of Teachers in Elementary Schools by Student Poverty, 2000 and 2005; (4) Average School Qualifications of Teachers In Middle Schools by Student Poverty, 2000 and 2005; and (5) Average School Qualifications of Teachers in High Schools by Student Poverty, 2000 and 2005. (Contains 10 figures, 11 tables, and 10 footnotes.) [This working paper was published by the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER). CALDER is a program of research by the Urban Institute with Duke University, Stanford University, University of Florida, University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Texas at Dallas, and University of Washington. It is supported by an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) grant to the Urban Institute.]

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Troels Gannerup Christensen

Jeg er ansat som adjunkt hos Læreruddannelsen i Jelling, hvor jeg underviser i matematik, specialiseringsmodulet teknologiforståelse, praktik m.m. Jeg har tidligere været ansat som pædagogisk konsulent i matematik og tysk hos UCL ved Center for Undervisningsmidler (CFU) i Vejle og lærer i udskolingen (7.-9. klasse) på Lyshøjskolen i Kolding. Jeg er ejer af og driver bl.a. hjemmesiderne www.lærklokken.dk og www.iundervisning.dk, ggbkursus.dk og er tidligere fagredaktør på matematik på emu.dk. Jeg går ind for, at læring skal være let tilgængelig og i størst mulig omfang gratis at benytte.

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