Tag Archives: Teacher Preparation

New teachers have higher SAT scores than in past years

20 Nov

Moi wrote in Is it true that the dumbest become teachers?

There is a quote attributed to H.L. Mencken:
Those who can — do. Those who can’t — teach.

People often assume that if a person could do anything else, they probably wouldn’t teach. Matthew Di Carlo, senior fellow at the non-profit Albert Shanker Institute, located in Washington, D.C. has an interesting article in the Washington Post.

In Do teachers really come from the ‘bottom third’ of college graduates? Di Carlo writes:

The conventional wisdom among many education commentators is that U.S. public school teachers “come from the bottom third” of their classes. Most recently, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg took this talking point a step further, and asserted at a press conference last week that teachers are drawn from the bottom 20 percent of graduates.
All of this is supposed to imply that the U.S. has a serious problem with the “quality” of applicants to the profession.
Despite the ubiquity of the “bottom third” and similar arguments (which are sometimes phrased as massive generalizations, with no reference to actual proportions), it’s unclear how many of those who offer them know what specifically they refer to (e.g., GPA, SAT/ACT, college rank, etc.). This is especially important since so many of these measurable characteristics are not associated with future test-based effectiveness in the classroom, while those that are are only modestly so.
Still, given how often it is used, as well as the fact that it is always useful to understand and examine the characteristics of the teacher labor supply, it’s worth taking a quick look at where the “bottom third” claim comes from and what it might or might not mean.
Most people who put forth this assertion cite one of two sources, both from the McKinsey & Company consulting organization. The first is an influential 2007 report , which simply notes that “we are now recruiting our teachers from the bottom third of high school students going to college.” The authors fail to specify how “bottom third” is defined, or whether their data refer to graduates who planned to teach versus those who actually got a job (the latter method is, of course, far preferable).
The citation for this claim is a 2007 report from the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce, which was issued by the National Center on Education and Economy (NCEE). The full report is not freely available online, but it turns out (thanks to the work of California teacher Larry Ferlazzo) that its source is the National Center for Education Statistics’ annual “Condition of Education” (CoE) report (2002 edition).
There don’t seem to be any breakdowns in the cited report that permit one to examine precisely how many teachers come from the “bottom third,” but the CoE does include a few tables on the SAT/ACT scores of teachers who received a bachelor’s degree in 1992-93 and had actually taught by the time 1997 rolled around (and for whom such data were available).
Tne table lists directly the percent of teachers who scored in the top half – 40.9 percent. Using figures in a different table to very roughly ballpark the proportion of 1992-93 graduates-turned-teachers in the bottom quartile (lowest 25 percent), it would be a little under 30 percent.*
Overall, then, 1992-93 graduates who chose teaching were somewhat overrepresented in the bottom of the distribution, and underrepresented in the top. The blanket characterization of these results by McKinsey (via NCEE) – that we are “recruiting our teachers from the bottom third” – seems more than a little misleading.
The second standard source for the “bottom third” claims is more clear and well-documented. It is a subsequent McKinsey report (2010), one which doesn’t rely on questionable interpretations from indirect sources, but rather its own analysis. That report claims, “The U.S. attracts most of its teachers from the bottom two-thirds of college classes, with nearly half coming from the bottom third.”
According to a footnote, these data are “derived from the U.S. Department of Education, NCES, 2001 Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Survey.” The appendix to the report confirms that the “top-“ and “bottom” third figures are also based on SAT/ACT scores, specifically those of 1999 graduates whose first job (at least by 2001) was teaching. The breakdown for these graduates is as follows: 23 percent came from the “top third;” 47 percent from the “bottom third;” and 29 percent from the “middle third.” This presents a somewhat more negative picture than the CoE data discussed above.
Why the differences? Because these studies are looking at different groups of teachers. In the CoE data, it’s 1993 graduates who had taught by 1997 (four years later), while the data used in the second McKinsey include 1999 graduates who, in 2001 (two years later), said their first job was (or is) teaching. In other words, each set of results is based on two different cohorts of college graduates, who are also identified in different ways, at different points after graduation….
Neither sample is necessarily representative of the teacher workforce as a whole, or of prior and subsequent cohorts.
Overall, then, the blanket assertion that teachers are coming from the “bottom third” of graduates is, at best, an incomplete picture. It’s certainly true that, when the terciles are defined in terms of SAT/ACT scores, there is consistent evidence that new teachers are disproportionately represented in this group (see here and here for examples from the academic literature).
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/do-teachers-really-come-from-the-bottom-third-of-college-graduates/2011/12/07/gIQAg8HPdO_blog.html

There isn’t really a definitive answer.

Joy Resmovits reported at Huffington Post about two studies which indicated the quality of new teachers may be improving.

In Starting Teacher SAT Scores Rise As Educators Face Tougher Evaluations, Resmovits reported:

American teachers may be getting smarter.
Still, scrutiny of their work and cries to overhaul the education system intensify.
The education reform group National Council on Teacher Quality, and Harvard University’s Education Next journal on Wednesday each released a paper about the state of the teaching force. The paper by National Council on Teacher Quality, a Washington-based think tank that has long advocated for rigorous teacher evaluations, provides an overall look at how states are evaluating teachers and using the results. The Education Next paper, authored by the University of Washington’s Dan Goldhaber and Joe Walch, investigated the academic qualifications of new teachers and found that average SAT scores have increased significantly over the last decade.
Taken together, the articles show an evolving workforce that raises questions about the often extreme hand-wringing over teacher quality. “Although teachers in the U.S. are more likely to be drawn from the lower end of the academic achievement distribution than are teachers in selected high-performing countries, the picture is a bit more nuanced than the rhetoric suggests,” Goldhaber and Walch wrote.
Advocates who have supported the evaluations highlighted by National Council on Teacher Quality continue pushing states to take them further — higher SAT scores or otherwise. “The SAT data is an encouraging sign, and we should keep heading in that direction, as it seems to be an indicator of whether a teacher can actually produce gains,” said Eric Lerum, a vice president at StudentsFirst, the Sacramento-based lobbying and advocacy group started by former Washington schools chancellor Michelle Rhee. “But it doesn’t tell us enough — Goldhaber says it’s not conclusive enough that the trend is reversing — and we’re still not taking enough top-shelf talent and getting them into teaching. We need to use the data we do have and take a comprehensive approach toward improving teacher quality….”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/30/teacher-sat-scores_n_4175593.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

Dan Goldhaber and Joe Walch analyzed teacher quality in an article at Education Next.

Goldhaber and Walch wrote in Gains in Teacher Quality:

Conclusions
In summary, although teachers in the U.S. are more likely to be drawn from the lower end of the academic achievement distribution than are teachers in selected high-performing countries, the picture is a bit more nuanced than the rhetoric suggests, and as we illustrate, it has in fact changed over time in an encouraging direction. There was an upward shift in achievement for 2008 college graduates entering the teacher workforce the following school year. In fact, 2008 graduates both with and without STEM majors who entered the teacher workforce had higher average SAT scores than their peers who entered other occupations.
What explains the apparent rise in academic competency among new teachers? As we show, the SAT scores of those seeking and finding employment in a teaching job differ in different years. It is possible that alternative pathways into the teaching profession have become an important source of academic talent for the profession. Unfortunately, we cannot explore this issue in any depth because the way in which teachers were asked about their preparation has varied over time. Regardless, alternative routes are unlikely to be the primary explanation for the changing SAT trends given that, with a few high-profile exceptions like Teach for America, alternative certification programs are not highly selective.
Differences in the labor market context across years may help explain the rise in SAT scores. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average unemployment rate in 2009 was about 9 percent to about 6 and 5 percent in 1994 and 2001, respectively. The high unemployment rate in 2009 may have led more high-scoring graduates to choose to pursue comparatively stable and secure teaching jobs rather than occupations that were viewed as riskier in the economic downturn. By contrast, those graduating in 2000 were entering the labor market during the tech boom, when there was a good deal of competition for the labor of prospective teachers. Regardless of the reason for the changes in academic proficiency that we observe, however, the data are encouraging and may represent the reversal of the long-term trend of declining academic talent entering teaching….
http://educationnext.org/gains-in-teacher-quality/

Kids know good teaching when they see it. Donna Gordon Blankinship of AP wrotein the Seattle Times article, How Do You Find An Effective Teacher? Ask A Kid:

Adults may be a little surprised by some of the preliminary findings of new research on what makes a great teacher.
How do you find the most effective teachers? Ask your kids. That’s one of four main conclusions of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and its research partners after the first year of its Measures of Effective Teaching Project.
Preliminary results of the study were posted online Friday; a more complete report is expected in April, according to the foundation….
The first four conclusions of the study are as follows:
-The average student knows effective teaching when he or she experiences it.
-In every grade and every subject, a teacher’s past success in raising student achievement on state tests is one of the strongest predictors of his or her ability to do so again.
-The teachers with the highest value-added scores on state tests, which show improvement by individual students during the time they were in their classroom, are also the teachers who do the best job helping their students understand math concepts or demonstrate reading comprehension through writing.
-Valid feedback does not need to come from test scores alone. Other data can give teachers the information they need to improve, including student opinions of how organized and effective a teacher is….http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2013649952_apusgatesfoundationteachers.html

See, What Works in the Classroom? Ask the Students http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/11/education/11education.html?emc=eta1

Bottom line, education is a partnership between the student, parent(s) or guardian(s), teacher(s), and school. All parts of the partnership must be involved. Students must arrive at school ready to learn. Parents must provide an environment which supports education and education achievement. Teachers must have strong subject matter knowledge and pedagogic skills. Schools must provide safe environments and discipline. Communities are also part of a successful school system and outcome for community children. Education is a partnership.

Resource:

A Comparative Study of Teacher Preparation and Qualifications in Six Nations
Consortium for Policy Research In Education
By Richard M. Ingersoll, United States With
Ding Gang and Sun Meilu, People’s Republic of China (PRC)
Kwok Chan Lai, Hong Kong
Hidenori Fujita, Japan
Ee-gyeong Kim, Republic of Korea
Steven K. S. Tan and Angela F. L. Wong, Singapore
Pruet Siribanpitak and Siriporn Boonyananta, Thailand
http://www.cpre.org/images/stories/cpre_pdfs/sixnations_final.pdf

Related:

The attempt to evaluate teacher colleges is getting nasty
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/05/523/

Could newest teaching strategy be made in Japan?
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/could-newest-teaching-strategy-be-made-in-japan/

New Harvard study about impact of teachers https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/08/new-harvard-study-about-impact-of-teachers/

Is it true that the dumbest become teachers? https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/is-it-true-that-the-dumbest-become-teachers/

Where Information Leads to Hope © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

National Center for Education Evaluation study: Teach for America teachers more successful at math teaching

14 Sep

Moi wrote in Urban teacher residencies:
One of the huge issues in educating ALL children is how to attract high quality teachers to high needs areas and to retain those teachers. One program designed to address that issue is the “Urban Teacher Residency Model.” Barnett Barry and Diana Montgomery of the Center for Teaching Quality along with Jon Snyder of Bank Street College wrote an interesting 2008 paper, Urban Teacher Residency Models and Institutions of Higher Education: Implications for Teacher Preparation:

In brief, UTRs recruit teaching talent aggressively, with the supply and demand needs of local districts in mind. They also insist on extensive preparation, whereby recruits are paid a stipend while learning to teach in a full-year residency, under the watchful eye of expert K-12 teachers. Because the Residents are not fully responsible for teaching children, they have more quality time to take relevant pedagogical coursework ―wrapped around‖ their intense student teaching experience. While both AUSL and BTR are relatively new programs, early studies on their graduates’ effectiveness and their high retention rates of 90 to 95 percent suggest these models hold great promise for preparing and supporting teachers in high-needs urban schools.
We believe the time is now for the teacher education community to embrace UTRs —supporting the development of them while also using them to improve their current programs. The struggles of both traditional and alternative pathways to certification are well known. For example, many traditional university-based programs are challenged by:
 Difficulty in attracting high academic achievers and teacher candidates of color;
 Too few opportunities for prospective teachers to be taught by exemplary classroom teachers;
 Failure to meet shortage area needs in subjects such as math, science, and special education, as well as the need for English Language Learners teachers;
 Limited resources and structures to provide induction support for their graduates in a systematic way once they begin teaching; and
 Lack of accountability for the effectiveness of their graduates.
On the other hand, alternate pathways, which often are touted for their ability to recruit high academic achieving candidates and to prepare teachers for specific districts, face challenges as well…. http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED503644

https://drwilda.com/2012/03/04/urban-teacher-residencies/

Schools must be allowed to match available resources to students.

Julia Ryan reported in The Atlantic article, Study: Students Learn More Math With Teach for America Teachers:

The results of a two-year, 4,573-student study by the U.S. Department of Education
How effective are Teach for America teachers? It’s a question that the organization’s critics and fans alike have been trying to answer for years. The Teach for America website points to studies of school districts in Louisiana, North Carolina, and Tennessee, which all found that “corps members often help their students achieve academic gains at rates equal to or larger than those for students of more veteran teachers.” (Emphasis mine.) TFA skeptics cite a range of other studies that show students with traditionally certified teachers achieving higher gains.
A new study by the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (a part of the United States Department of Education) will encourage TFA supporters. The first large-scale random assignment study of TFA secondary math teachers, it found that the TFA teachers were more effective than other instructors at their schools.
“By providing rigorous evidence on the effectiveness of secondary math teachers from TFA and the Teaching Fellows programs, the study can shed light on potential approaches for improving teacher effectiveness in hard-to-staff schools and subjects,” the authors wrote.
The study included 4,573 students at middle and high schools across the country. In the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 school years, researchers randomly assigned the students in each school to similar math courses–some were taught by TFA teachers, and others or by teachers who entered teaching through traditional or other, less selective alternative programs. The students with TFA teachers performed better on end-of-year exams than their peers in similar courses taught by other teachers. The bump in their test scores is equivalent to an additional 2.6 months of school for the average student nationwide.
The study also seemed to disprove the common criticism that, because TFA teachers only sign on for two years of teaching, they do not gain the experience necessary to become effective teachers. The study found that TFA teachers were more effective than both novice and experienced teachers from other certification programs. Students of TFA teachers in their first three years of teaching scored 0.08 standard deviations higher than students of other teachers in their first three years of teaching and 0.07 standard deviations higher than students of other teachers with more than three years of experience teaching.
However, the study pointed out that the results do not necessarily reflect the effectiveness of the TFA training itself, as the organization attracts a different applicant pool than traditional or other, less selective certification programs. The authors point out that both TFA and Teaching Fellows, another competitive teaching program, have “unique procedures for recruiting and selecting individuals” and look for characteristics they believe are “associated with effectiveness in the classroom.”
Only 23 percent of teachers from traditional or less-selective certification programs graduated from a selective college or university, while 81 percent of TFA teachers did. And although the TFA teachers were less likely to have majored or minored in math, they scored significantly higher on a test of math knowledge than their teacher counterparts. http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2013/09/study-students-learn-more-math-with-teach-for-america-teachers/279527/

See, TFA Teachers Shown to Boost Secondary Math http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/09/11/04alternatives.h33.html?tkn=MWLFZkqS35ySzRJT3SsDjWlS1lm%2BJyt5VscZ&cmp=clp-edweek&intc=es

Citation:

The Effectiveness of Secondary Math Teachers from Teach For America and the Teaching Fellows Programs
Teach For America (TFA) and the Teaching Fellows programs are important and growing sources of teachers of hard-to-staff subjects in high-poverty schools, but comprehensive evidence of their effectiveness has been limited. A large-scale random assignment study examines the effectiveness of secondary math teachers from two highly selective alternative certification route programs: Teach for America (TFA) and Teaching Fellows.
The study separately compares the effectiveness of teachers from each program with the effectiveness of other teachers teaching the same subjects in the same schools. On average, students assigned to TFA teachers had higher math scores at the end of the school year than students assigned to comparison teachers. Students of Teaching Fellows and comparison teachers had similar math scores, on average. However, students with Teaching Fellows teachers did outperform students whose teachers entered the classroom through less selective alternative routes.
View, download, and print the report as a PDF file (1.9 MB)
http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pubs/20134015/pdf/20134015.pdf
View, download, and print the executive summary as a PDF file (386 KB)
http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pubs/20134015/pdf/20134016.pdf

Here is a portion of the Executive Summary:

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Teach For America (TFA) and the Teaching Fellows programs are an important and growing source of teachers of hard-to-staff subjects in high-poverty schools, but comprehensive evidence of their effectiveness has been limited. This report presents findings from the first large-scale random assignment study of secondary math teachers from these programs. The study separately examined the effectiveness of TFA and Teaching Fellows teachers, comparing secondary math teachers from each program with other secondary math teachers teaching the same math courses in the same schools. The study focused on secondary math because this is a subject in which schools face particular staffing difficulties.
The study had two main findings, one for each program studied:
1. TFA teachers were more effective than the teachers with whom they were compared. On average, students assigned to TFA teachers scored 0.07 standard deviations higher on end-of-year math assessments than students assigned to comparison teachers, a statistically significant difference. This impact is equivalent to an additional 2.6 months of school for the average student nationwide.
2. Teaching Fellows were neither more nor less effective than the teachers with whom they were compared. On average, students of Teaching Fellows and students of comparison teachers had similar scores on end-of-year math assessments.

By providing rigorous evidence on the effectiveness of secondary math teachers from TFA and the Teaching Fellows programs, the study can shed light on potential approaches for improving teacher effectiveness in hard-to-staff schools and subjects. The study findings can provide guidance to school principals faced with the choice of hiring teachers who have entered the profession via different routes to certification. The findings can also aid policymakers and funders of teacher preparation programs by providing information on the effectiveness of teachers from various routes….

There will continue to be battles between those who favor a more traditional education and those who are open to the latest education fad. These battles will be fought out in school board meetings, PTSAs, and the courts. There is one way to, as Susan Powder says, “Stop the Insanity.” Genuine school choice allows parents or guardians to select the best educational setting for their child. Many policy wonks would like to believe that only one type of family seeks genuine school choice, the right wing wacko who makes regular visits on the “tea party” circuit. That is not true. Many parents favor a back-to-the basics traditional approach to education.

A one-size-fits-all approach does not work in education.

Related:

Study: Early mastery of fractions is a predictor of math success https://drwilda.com/2012/06/26/study-early-mastery-of-fractions-is-a-predictor-of-math-success/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

National Council on Teacher Quality releases first Teacher Prep Review

17 Jun

 

Moi wrote about teacher preparation in The search for quality teachers goes on:

 

Moi received the press release about improving teacher training standards from the Commission on Standards and Performance Reporting which is an outgrowth of he Teacher Education Accreditation Council, or TEAC, and the far larger and older National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, or NCATE now called CAEP. Trip Gabriel has an article in the New York Times,Teachers Colleges Upset By Plans to Grade Them about the coming U.S. News Report on teacher colleges. This project is being underwritten in part by the Carnegie Corporation and Broad Foundation. A test of the proposed project was completed in Illinois. You can go here to get a copy of the report. The National Council on Teacher Quality has information about the project at their site. The National Council on Teacher Quality has released the first Teacher Prep Review.

 

Here is a portion of the summary of Teacher Prep Review:

 

 

NCTQ Teacher Prep Review

 

Effective teachers make a fundamental difference in the lives of our nation’s students. With the right training, talented and motivated teacher candidates can graduate ready to lead a classroom.

Why we’re doing the Teacher Prep Review

There’s widespread public interest in strengthening teacher preparation – but there’s a significant data gap on what’s working We aim to fill this gap, providing information that aspiring teachers and school leaders need to be come strategic consumers and institutions and states need in order to rapidly improve how tomorrow’s teachers are trained.

Our strategy is modeled on Abraham Flexner ’s 1910 review of medical training programs, an effort that launched a new era in the field of medicine, transforming a sub-standard system into the world’s best.

How we’re doing it. NCTQ takes an in-depth look at admissions standards, course requirements,course syllabi, textbooks, capstone projects, student teaching manuals and graduate surveys, among other sources, as blueprints for training teachers. We apply specific and measurable standards that identify the teacher preparation programs most likely to get the best outcomes for their students. To develop these standards, we consulted with international and domestic experts on teacher education, faculty and deans from schools of education, statistical experts and PK-12 leaders. We honed our methodology in ten pilot studies conducted over eight years.

Our goals. Currently, high-caliber teacher training programs go largely unrecognized. The Review will showcase these programs and provide resources that schools of education can use to provide trulyexceptional training. Aspiring teachers will be able to make informed choices about where to attend school to get the best training. Principals and superintendents will know where they should recruit new teachers. State leaders will be able to provide targeted support and hold programs accountable for improvement. Together, we can ensure a healthy teacher pipeline.

There is a lot of support for strengthening teacher prep. To date, 24 state school chiefs, over 100 district superintendents, the Council of the Great City Schools and almost 80 advocacy organizations across 42 states and the District of Columbia have endorsed the Review. The Review is funded by 65 local and national foundations. There’s also growing support for raising the bar on the system from national organizations representing state education chiefs (CCSSO), teachers (both the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association) and teacher educators themselves (the new national accreditation body, CAEP).

The first edition of the Review will be published June 18, 2013, in partnership with U.S. News & World Report. What’s next? NCTQ has made a commitment to publish three annual editions of the Review.

There is much that needs to be done before we have a truly excellent system of preparing teachers. We must set a high standard for teacher preparation, shed light on high-performers and give educators the information they need to make the system work for their students. Aspiring teachers and their future students deserve a world-class teacher training system. http://nctq.org/dmsView/NCTQ_Teacher_Prep_Review_background_materials

 

Resources:

 

Contact NCTQ

To contact NCTQ please visit our contact us page. For help reaching an NCTQ expert, you can reach Laura Johnson, our Director of Communications, at 202.393.0020 x117 or email ljohnson@nctq.org.

Questions about the Teacher Prep Review in your area?

Please refer to the map to locate the best contact person for your region.

 
Region 1
Marisa Goldstein
marisa.goldstein@nctq.org
202.393.0020 x115

Region 2
Graham Drake
graham.drake@nctq.org
202.393.0020 x107

Region 3
Amy MacKown
amy.mackown@nctq.org
202.393.0020 x111

Region 4
Katie Moyer
katie.moyer@nctq.org
202.393.0020 x112

Resources

Teacher Prep

District Policy

  • Tr3 Teacher Contract Database: This database houses over 100 school districts’ teacher contracts, school board policies (including school calendars and pay schedules), and state laws, coded so you can easily compare districts. Access information on a single district or create a custom report to compare districts on any of over 300 specific questions, such as the role of seniority in teacher staffing and teacher salaries.

State Policy

  • State Teacher Policy Yearbook: The Yearbook is a 52-volume encyclopedia (51 state reports including the District of Columbia plus a national summary) providing measurement and detailed analysis of the state policies that impact the teaching profession.

 

Amy Hetzner and Becky Vevea of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote in the article, How Best to Educate Future Teachers which is part of a series

 

Alverno College, the small women’s college on Milwaukee’s south side, has been widely cited as a national model for training teachers, thanks to its combination of clinical and classroom experience and use of video and other tools to evaluate whether graduates are meeting the standards for what makes a good teacher…. 

Key elements of an excellent teacher education program: 

  • Strong content knowledge, teaching skills. Future teachers gain a solid grounding in the content to be taught as well as how to teach it.

  • Flexible methods. Emphasis is placed on teaching diverse learners – knowing how to differentiate teaching to reach a broad range of students.

  • Fieldwork. Coursework clearly is connected to fieldwork. The clinical experience, like in medical school, consists of intensive student-teaching, preferably for a semester or entire year, under the supervision of an experienced mentor.

  • Professional mentors. Mentors observe future teachers in the classroom – sometimes videotaping for later analysis – and work with them on everything from lesson-planning and creating assignments to monitoring student progress and grading.

  • Designated “learning schools.” Mentors and school sites for student-teaching are well-chosen. There are close relationships and a sense of joint responsibility among the school sites at which future teachers train, the local district and the teacher-education program.

  • Escalating teaching responsibilities. Future teachers gradually take over a full classroom, first teaching short segments on a single topic with a small group of students, then co-teaching with the mentor before assuming full responsibility for a class.

  • Feedback. Feedback from multiple sources (mentors, professors, peers) is routine.

  • Selective admission standards. Admission to the program is selective; not everyone has the necessary skills or demeanor to be an effective teacher.

 

Sources: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education; faculty at Columbia University Teachers College, Stanford and Harvard Universities. 

Compiled by Justin Snider of The Hechinger Report

 

These are the elements that have made the graduates of one education school successful.

 

Kids know good teaching when they see it. Donna Gordon Blankinship of AP wrotein the Seattle Times article, How Do You Find An Effective Teacher? Ask A Kid

 

Adults may be a little surprised by some of the preliminary findings of new research on what makes a great teacher.

 

How do you find the most effective teachers? Ask your kids. That’s one of four main conclusions of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and its research partners after the first year of its Measures of Effective Teaching Project.

 

Preliminary results of the study were posted online Friday; a more complete report is expected in April, according to the foundation….

 

The first four conclusions of the study are as follows:

 

-The average student knows effective teaching when he or she experiences it.

 

-In every grade and every subject, a teacher’s past success in raising student achievement on state tests is one of the strongest predictors of his or her ability to do so again.

 

-The teachers with the highest value-added scores on state tests, which show improvement by individual students during the time they were in their classroom, are also the teachers who do the best job helping their students understand math concepts or demonstrate reading comprehension through writing.

 

-Valid feedback does not need to come from test scores alone. Other data can give teachers the information they need to improve, including student opinions of how organized and effective a teacher is….

 

See, Students Know Good Teaching When They Get It, Survey Finds

 

Bottom line, education is a partnership between the student, parent(s) or guardian(s), teacher(s), and school. All parts of the partnership must be involved. Students must arrive at school ready to learn. Parents must provide an environment which supports education and education achievement. Teachers must have strong subject matter knowledge and pedagogic skills. Schools must provide safe environments and discipline. Communities are also part of a successful school system and outcome for community children. Education is a partnership.

 

Related:

 

 

The attempt to evaluate teacher colleges is getting nasty https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/05/523/

 

 

Could newest teaching strategy be made in Japan? https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/could-newest-teaching-strategy-be-made-in-japan/

 

New Harvard study about impact of teachers https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/08/new-harvard-study-about-impact-of-teachers/

 

Is it true that the dumbest become teachers? https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/is-it-true-that-the-dumbest-become-teachers/

 

Where Information Leads to Hope ©     Dr. Wilda.com

 

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

 

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

 

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                           http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

 

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                                http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

 

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                                       https://drwilda.com/

 

Urban teacher residencies

4 Mar

One of the huge issues in educating ALL children is how to attract high quality teachers to high needs areas and to retain those teachers. One program designed to address that issue is the “Urban Teacher Residency Model.” Barnett Barry and Diana Montgomery of the Center for Teaching Quality along with Jon Snyder of Bank Street College wrote an interesting 2008 paper, Urban Teacher Residency Models and Institutions of Higher Education: Implications for Teacher Preparation:

In brief, UTRs recruit teaching talent aggressively, with the supply and demand needs of local districts in mind. They also insist on extensive preparation, whereby recruits are paid a stipend while learning to teach in a full-year residency, under the watchful eye of expert K-12 teachers. Because the Residents are not fully responsible for teaching children, they have more quality time to take relevant pedagogical coursework ―wrapped around‖ their intense student teaching experience. While both AUSL and BTR are relatively new programs, early studies on their graduates’ effectiveness and their high retention rates of 90 to 95 percent suggest these models hold great promise for preparing and supporting teachers in high-needs urban schools.

We believe the time is now for the teacher education community to embrace UTRs —supporting the development of them while also using them to improve their current programs. The struggles of both traditional and alternative pathways to certification are well known. For example, many traditional university-based programs are challenged by:

Difficulty in attracting high academic achievers and teacher candidates of color;

Too few opportunities for prospective teachers to be taught by exemplary classroom teachers;

Failure to meet shortage area needs in subjects such as math, science, and special education, as well as the need for English Language Learners teachers;

Limited resources and structures to provide induction support for their graduates in a systematic way once they begin teaching; and

Lack of accountability for the effectiveness of their graduates.

On the other hand, alternate pathways, which often are touted for their ability to recruit high academic achieving candidates and to prepare teachers for specific districts, face challenges as well.

These include:

An abbreviated curriculum that leaves too few opportunities to learn how to teach diverse learners;

Insufficient clinical experiences prior to becoming the teacher of record;

Too few opportunities to learn content and how to teach it simultaneously;

An overemphasis on preparing teachers for a singular context (e.g., a particular district)

or a limited, prescriptive curriculum; and

Lack of accountability for the effectiveness of their graduates.

In fact, in a survey of both ―prominent‖ alternative certification recruits — including Teach for America, the New Teacher Project, and Troops to Teachers — and traditionally prepared novices, several stark findings have surfaced:

84 percent of traditional recruits rated their preparation in managing classrooms as excellent or good, compared to only 60 percent of the alternative certification recruits; 71 percent of traditional recruits rated their preparation in helping struggling students as excellent or good, compared to only 38 percent of the alternative certification recruits; and

77 percent of traditional recruits rated their preparation in providing individualized instruction to students as excellent or good, compared to only 49 percent of the alternative certification recruits. In addition, 34 percent of the alternative recruits who are teaching in high-needs schools reported they were planning to leave teaching within two years. In comparison, only 4 percent of the traditional recruits noted they were going to leave within the same time frame. These survey data do not suggest that traditional university-based preparation programs ―do teacher education right,‖ but for the most part, they are doing a better job than even the highly regarded

Teach for America program in getting new recruits ready for the immense challenges of teaching in high-needs schools. Researchers have shown teachers increase in effectiveness with teaching experience and high turnover among new recruits harms school improvement efforts. (footnotes omitted)

One of the key elements of “Urban Residency Models” is retention of teachers.

The Urban Teacher Residency Model:

Right now, roughly 50% of all urban public school teachers nationwide leave their positions in less than three years – not because they don’t want to teach, but because they’re not always ready.

By preparing a new kind of teacher inside the classroom – providing the practical learning, the hands-on experience and the support network they need to be effective right away – Urban Teacher Residency United (UTRU) and its local programs are building a real movement for education reform from the ground up.

Statistics show that 85% of all Residency graduates stay in their schools beyond those crucial first three years, reducing the high teacher turnover rates that cost districts millions and leave students in the dark.

Program Design

Giving Teachers the Tools to Make an Immediate Impact

It is an extensive focus on preparation that makes the Residency model different from any other program in education. From beginning to end, every aspect of the model is designed to provide teachers the knowledge, skills and disposition they need to make an immediate impact in the urban classroom — a difference every one of their students can feel.

Recruitment & Selection

Recruiting Residents

Through a highly selective recruitment process, Residencies attract a diverse group of talented college graduates, career changers and community members. This targeted effort is driven by the unique needs and goals of each school district partner. Special attention is paid to attracting teachers of color and teachers in high-need areas, such as math, science and special education.

Selecting Mentors

On a parallel path, Residencies select a cohort of experienced teachers within the district to be paired one-on-one with Residents for the duration of the school year. These expert mentors offer Residents a living, breathing model for success in the urban classroom. As the centerpiece of the Residency model, mentors receive ongoing support from the program to ensure the provision of time, resources and coaching skills necessary to lead an effective classroom apprenticeship.

The Residency Year

Residency programs offer a unique synthesis of theory and practice, combining a yearlong classroom apprenticeship with a carefully aligned sequence of master’s-level coursework. Residents receive a stipend for living expenses throughout their training year, and a subsidized master’s degree upon completion of the program.

Placement in Cohorts & Training Sites

Residents train as part of a cohort — a peer group that provides ongoing support and collaborative learning throughout the Residency year and beyond. At the beginning of the school year, groups of Residents are placed in high-need, high-functioning public schools for their apprenticeship experience. Residents also complete their coursework as a cohort.

A Yearlong Classroom Apprenticeship

Residents spend the full academic year in an urban public school, developing under the guidance of an experienced mentor teacher. Using a variety of coaching and conversation protocols, mentors provide valuable insight into effective teaching methodology, helping Residents develop the knowledge, skills and habits of mind that come from years of experience in the urban classroom. Over the course of the year, Residents move from a collaborative, co-teaching role in the classroom to an increasingly demanding, lead-teaching role.

Linking Theory to Practice

In addition to their hands-on work in the classroom, Residents engage in master’s-level education coursework designed to inform and enrich the apprenticeship experience. This deep blend of theory and practice makes the Residency model a unique route into teaching, helping participants draw meaningful connections between their daily classroom work and the latest in education theory and research.

Post-Residency

Residency graduates commit to serving their district for at least three years after the completion of their apprenticeship. In return, they receive immediate assistance with job placement in one of the district’s schools, as well as access to an exemplary onsite induction program — one-on-one consultation that includes classroom observation and targeted feedback throughout their first two years of solo teaching.

Residency programs also boast an active alumni network — a group that values ongoing training and collaboration, and serves as an invaluable resource as graduates pursue further professional development. Many Residents go on to become mentors, principals and senior administrators in their schools, a benefit their continued commitment earns them.

http://www.utrunited.org/the-residency-model

See, MSNBC video: Why Do Good Teachers Leave? http://video.msnbc.msn.com/nightly-news/46622232/#46622232

Quality Standards for Effective Residencies

The UTRU Quality Standards identify, define and describe the six program elements essential to the design of a high-performing Urban Teacher Residency.

Quality Standards for Teacher Residency Programs (436KB)

Position Papers

These documents provide an in-depth look at the development and design of the Urban Teacher Residency model.

From the limited data available, it appears that “Urban Teacher Residencies” are a promising tool.

Resources:

Urban Teacher Residencies: A Space for Hybrid Roles for Teachers http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/teaching_ahead/2011/10/urban_teacher_residencies_a_space_for_hybrid_roles_for_teachers.html

Urban Teacher Residencies http://www.teachingquality.org/utr

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Could newest teaching strategy be made in Japan?

11 Jan

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

Alverno College, the small women’s college on Milwaukee’s south side, has been widely cited as a national model for training teachers, thanks to its combination of clinical and classroom experience and use of video and other tools to evaluate whether graduates are meeting the standards for what makes a good teacher….

Key elements of an excellent teacher education program:

  • Strong content knowledge, teaching skills. Future teachers gain a solid grounding in the content to be taught as well as how to teach it.

  • Flexible methods. Emphasis is placed on teaching diverse learners – knowing how to differentiate teaching to reach a broad range of students.

  • Fieldwork. Coursework clearly is connected to fieldwork. The clinical experience, like in medical school, consists of intensive student-teaching, preferably for a semester or entire year, under the supervision of an experienced mentor.

  • Professional mentors. Mentors observe future teachers in the classroom – sometimes videotaping for later analysis – and work with them on everything from lesson-planning and creating assignments to monitoring student progress and grading.

  • Designated “learning schools.” Mentors and school sites for student-teaching are well-chosen. There are close relationships and a sense of joint responsibility among the school sites at which future teachers train, the local district and the teacher-education program.

  • Escalating teaching responsibilities. Future teachers gradually take over a full classroom, first teaching short segments on a single topic with a small group of students, then co-teaching with the mentor before assuming full responsibility for a class.

  • Feedback. Feedback from multiple sources (mentors, professors, peers) is routine.

  • Selective admission standards. Admission to the program is selective; not everyone has the necessary skills or demeanor to be an effective teacher.

Sources: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education; faculty at Columbia University Teachers College, Stanford and Harvard Universities.

Compiled by Justin Snider of The Hechinger Report

These are the elements that have made the graduates of one education school successful.

Linda Lutton has written the article, Japanese strategy for improving teachers is catching on in Chicago for the Hechinger Report:

In the sunlit library at Jorge Prieto Elementary on Chicago’s’ northwest side, an experiment is under way.

A provisional classroom has been set up. A white board sits at the front of the room, and 20 eighth-graders are seated at library tables. Math teacher Michael Hock is giving a lesson about the distributive property.

Scattered throughout the room are some 30 other teachers. They aren’t wearing lab coats—but they might as well be. They clutch clipboards and carefully monitor kids’ reactions to the teacher’s explanations, peering over students’ shoulders as they write answers.

What is the area of the garden?” Hock asks students as he points to an illustration on the white board. “Nestor, I haven’t heard from you today.”

Listen to the audio story

Nestor answers the question, and the 30 adults, including visiting teachers from Japan, scribble notes.

The exercise is called “lesson study.” It’s a professional development strategy used extensively in Japan that essentially dissects a teacher’s lesson and the way it’s delivered.

Here’s how it works: teachers come up with a detailed lesson plan and explain ahead of time to colleagues the goals of the lesson. Then, one teacher tries the lesson out on a group of students, while dozens of other teachers watch what happens.

Finally, the observers offer feedback and ideas for improvement.“[We’ve been] doing lesson study more than 100 years in Japan,” says Toshiakira Fujii, a premier professor of math education in Japan who was among those teachers observing at Prieto. “But lesson study in the United States is quite new.”

Fujii says Japanese teachers see lesson study as a proving ground, a way to shine in front of their colleagues.

You can see [it] everywhere in Japan,” says Fujii. “In Tokyo in the case it’s Wednesday. Wednesday [we] usually finish at lunch time. Then one class stays, and the other classes dismiss. And then every teacher comes to that one class and observes. Even the school nurse and school counselor also join to watch the lesson—that’s our traditional way.”

There’s been lots of talk about how Chicago should evaluate teachers. Lesson study is being billed as a way to help teachers improve.

The strategy is one both teachers unions and school districts say they like. The head of instruction in Chicago Public Schools says she’s a fan of lesson study.  The Chicago Teachers Union helped organize the lesson study at Prieto—and convenes other sessions on holidays like Pulaski Day, when students and teachers volunteer to participate. http://hechingerreport.org/content/japanese-strategy-for-improving-teachers-is-catching-on-in-chicago_7350/

See, ‘Lesson Study,” Japanese Strategy For Improving Teachers, Catching On In U.S.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/10/lesson-study-japanese-str_n_1197229.html

Teachers also have some thoughts about effective teaching. Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post has a guest column written by teacher Larry Ferlazzo. In Teachers: What We Need to Do to Fix the Schools Ferlazzo writes:

Evaluating Students and Teachers Using Fair, Valid and Reliable Measures
We need to reduce our dependence on standardized testing as the primary method of assessing students and teachers. Using multiple measures, including portfolios of student work, allows us to evaluate students based on work they have constructed themselves, as opposed to their skill in selecting the one right answer from a list of possibilities on a multiple choice test….

Enhancing Collaboration Between Teachers
Making time for peer learning is a critical step toward improving instruction and—as studies have shown—reducing teacher turnover. Providing strong administrative support for weekly meetings and engaging teachers in discussions about the kind of professional development we want and need is necessary to help move us beyond our “egg crate” model that limits professional collaboration. …

Shared Leadership and Accountability in Schools
Schools that include substantial teacher input across many levels of school decision-making—or that are actually run by lead teachers rather than principals—are being launched in Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles and other urban districts nationwide. Teacher-led learning organizations may not be a good fit for every school system, but the emerging models suggest some best practices that translate well to nearly any school environment….

Building Bridges Between Schools and Communities
We understand and embrace the idea that teachers are the most powerful
in-school predictor of student achievement. But there are many factors outside of the traditional scope of schools’ work with children that must be addressed—health care, job training, affordable housing, etc.—that have an enormous impact on student achievement….

Rather, he writes, schools are actually complex systems filled with constantly moving parts that require constant adjustments. He questions the wisdom of “grafting” complicated procedures onto complex organizations.

Really, it comes down to each population of kids should have solutions tailored for their needs. There really should not be a one size approach to education.

Kids know good teaching when they see it. Donna Gordon Blankinship of AP reports in the Seattle Times article, How Do You Find An Effective Teacher? Ask A Kid

Adults may be a little surprised by some of the preliminary findings of new research on what makes a great teacher.

How do you find the most effective teachers? Ask your kids. That’s one of four main conclusions of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and its research partners after the first year of its Measures of Effective Teaching Project.

Preliminary results of the study were posted online Friday; a more complete report is expected in April, according to the foundation….

The first four conclusions of the study are as follows:

-The average student knows effective teaching when he or she experiences it.

-In every grade and every subject, a teacher’s past success in raising student achievement on state tests is one of the strongest predictors of his or her ability to do so again.

-The teachers with the highest value-added scores on state tests, which show improvement by individual students during the time they were in their classroom, are also the teachers who do the best job helping their students understand math concepts or demonstrate reading comprehension through writing.

-Valid feedback does not need to come from test scores alone. Other data can give teachers the information they need to improve, including student opinions of how organized and effective a teacher is….

See, Students Know Good Teaching When They Get It, Survey Finds

Bottom line, education is a partnership between the student, parent(s) or guardian(s), teacher(s), and school. All parts of the partnership must be involved. Students must arrive at school ready to learn. Parents must provide an environment which supports education and education achievement. Teachers must have strong subject matter knowledge and pedagogic skills. Schools must provide safe environments and discipline. Communities are also part of a successful school system and outcome for community children. Education is a partnership.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

New Harvard study about impact of teachers

8 Jan

The Guide to Teacher Quality lists several key attributes of a quality teacher:

WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT TEACHER QUALITY

Experience is very important. The ability of a new teacher to support student learning

increases greatly during his/her first year of teaching and continues to grow through at least the

first several years of teaching (Clotfelter, Ladd & Vigdor, 2007; Clotfelter, Ladd & Vigdor, 2004;

Hanushek et al., 1998).

Teacher attrition matters. Districts and schools with relatively high rates of teacher

attrition are likely to have more inexperienced teachers and, as a result, instructional quality

and student learning suffer (Alliance for Quality Teaching, 2008).

Ability matters. Teachers with higher scores on college admission or licensure tests as well

as those from colleges with more selective admission practices are better able to support student

learning (Gitomer, 2007; Rice, 2003; Wayne and Youngs, 2003; Reichardt, 2001; Ferguson

& Ladd, 1996; Greenwald, Hedges & Laine, 1996).

Teachers’ subject matter knowledge helps students learn. Students learn when their

teacher knows the subject, particularly in secondary science and mathematics (Floden &

Meniketti, 2006; Rice, 2003; Wayne and Youngs, 2003; Reichardt, 2001).

Preparation and training in how to teach makes a difference. Knowing how to teach

improves student learning, particularly when a teacher is in his/her first years of teaching (Rice,

2003; Allen, 2003; Boyd, Grossman, Lankford, Loeb & Wyckoff, 2005).

Teacher diversity may also be important. There is emerging evidence that students learn

better from teachers of similar racial and ethnic background (Dee, 2004; Dee, 2001; Hanushek

et al. 1998).

One of the important attributes is the subject matter knowledge of the teacher. These findings are particularly important in light of the study, The Long-Term Impacts of Teachers: TeacherValue-Added and Student Outcomes in Adulthood by Raj Chetty, Harvard University and NBER , John N. Friedman, Harvard University and NBER, and Jonah E. Rockoff, Columbia University and NBER .

Here is a portion of the executive summary:

Many policy makers advocate increasing the quality of teaching, but there is considerable debate about the best way to measure and improve teacher quality. One method is to evaluate teachers based on their impacts on students’ test scores, commonly termed the “value-added” (VA) approach. A teacher’s value-added is defined as the average test-score gain for his or her students, adjusted for differences across classrooms in student characteristics such as prior scores. School districts from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles have begun to use VA to evaluate teachers. Proponents argue that using VA can improve student achievement (e.g. Hanushek 2009), while critics argue that test score gains are poor proxies for a teacher’s true quality (e.g. Baker et al. 2010).

The debate about VA stems from two fundamental questions. First, does VA accurately measure teachers’ impacts on scores or does it unfairly penalize teachers who may systematically be assigned lower achieving students? Second, do high VA teachers improve their students’ long-term outcomes or are they simply better at teaching to the test? Researchers have not reached a consensus about the accuracy and long-term impacts of VA because of data and methodological limitations.

We address these two questions by tracking one million children from a large urban school district from 4th grade to adulthood. We evaluate the accuracy of standard VA measures using several methods, including natural experiments that arise from changes in teaching staff. We find that when a high VA teacher joins a school, test scores rise immediately in the grade taught by that teacher; when a high VA teacher leaves, test scores fall. Test scores change only in the subject taught by that teacher, and the size of the change in scores matches what we predict based on the teacher’s VA. These results establish that VA accurately captures teachers’ impacts on students’ academic achievement and thereby reconcile the conflicting conclusions of Kane and Staiger (2008) and Rothstein (2010). These methods provide a simple yet powerful method to estimate the bias of value-added models in any district; interested readers can download computer code to implement these tests from this link.

In the second part of our study, we analyze whether high VA teachers also improve students’ long-term outcomes. We find that students assigned to higher VA teachers are more successful in many dimensions. They are more likely to attend college, earn higher salaries, live in better neighborhoods, and save more for retirement. They are also less likely to have children as teenagers.

Teachers’ impacts on students are substantial. Replacing a teacher whose true VA is in the bottom 5% with a teacher of average quality would generate lifetime earnings gains worth more than $250,000 for the average classroom. VA estimates are less reliable when they are based on data from a small number of classes. However, even after observing teachers’ impacts on test scores for one year, estimates of VA are reliable enough that such personnel changes would yield large gains on average.

Teachers have large impacts in all the grades we analyze (4 to 8), implying that the returns to education remain large well beyond early childhood. Teachers’ impacts on earnings are also similar in percentage terms for students from low and high income families. As a rough guideline, parents should be willing to pay about 25% of their child’s income at age 28 to switch their child from a below-average (25th percentile) to an above-average (75th percentile) teacher. For example, parents whose children will earn around $40,000 in their late 20s should be willing to pay $10,000 to switch from a below-average to an above-average teacher for one grade, based on the expected increase in their child’s lifetime earnings.

Overall, our study shows that great teachers create great value – perhaps several times their annual salaries – and that test score impacts are helpful in identifying such teachers. However, more work is needed to determine the best way to use VA for policy. For example, using VA in teacher evaluations could induce undesirable responses that make VA a poorer measure of teacher quality, such as teaching to the test or cheating. There will be much to learn about these issues from school districts that start using VA to evaluate teachers. Nevertheless, it is clear that improving the quality of teaching – whether using value-added or other tools – is likely to have large economic and social returns.

See, Annie Lowrey’s New York Times article, Big Study Links Good Teachers to Lasting Gain

Teachers also have some thoughts about effective teaching. Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post has a guest column written by teacher Larry Ferlazzo. In Teachers: What We Need to Do to Fix the Schools

Citation:

Executive Summary of National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. 17699, December 2011

THE LONG-TERM IMPACTS OF TEACHERS: TEACHER VALUE-ADDED AND STUDENT OUTCOMES IN ADULTHOOD

Raj Chetty, Harvard University and NBER

John N. Friedman, Harvard University and NBER

Jonah E. Rockoff, Columbia University and NBER

Executive Summary

Manuscript (NBER         WP17699)

Presentation Slides

STATA Code

Every child has a right to a good basic education. In order to ensure that every child has a good basic education, there must be a quality teacher in every classroom.

See:

Is it true that the dumbest become teachers?

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/is-it-true-that-the-dumbest-become-teachers/

A Review of the Literature Regarding Teacher’s Subject Matter Knowledge

The Importance of Teacher Disposition

The Guide to Teacher Quality

Teacher Quality

What Comprises High Quality Teacher Education?

Educational Testing Services’ Where We Stand on Teacher Quality

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

 

Is it true that the dumbest become teachers?

9 Dec

There is a quote attributed to H.L. Mencken:

Those who can — do. Those who can’t — teach.

People often assume that if a person could do anything else, they probably wouldn’t teach. Matthew Di Carlo, senior fellow at the non-profit Albert Shanker Institute, located in Washington, D.C. has an interesting article in the Washington Post.

In Do teachers really come from the ‘bottom third’ of college graduates? Di Carlo writes:

The conventional wisdom among many education commentators is that U.S. public school teachers “come from the bottom third” of their classes. Most recently, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg took this talking point a step further, and asserted at a press conference last week that teachers are drawn from the bottom 20 percent of graduates.

All of this is supposed to imply that the U.S. has a serious problem with the “quality” of applicants to the profession.

Despite the ubiquity of the “bottom third” and similar arguments (which are sometimes phrased as massive generalizations, with no reference to actual proportions), it’s unclear how many of those who offer them know what specifically they refer to (e.g., GPA, SAT/ACT, college rank, etc.). This is especially important since so many of these measurable characteristics are not associated with future test-based effectiveness in the classroom, while those that are are only modestly so.

Still, given how often it is used, as well as the fact that it is always useful to understand and examine the characteristics of the teacher labor supply, it’s worth taking a quick look at where the “bottom third” claim comes from and what it might or might not mean.

Most people who put forth this assertion cite one of two sources, both from the McKinsey & Company consulting organization. The first is an influential 2007 report , which simply notes that “we are now recruiting our teachers from the bottom third of high school students going to college.” The authors fail to specify how “bottom third” is defined, or whether their data refer to graduates who planned to teach versus those who actually got a job (the latter method is, of course, far preferable).

The citation for this claim is a 2007 report from the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce, which was issued by the National Center on Education and Economy (NCEE). The full report is not freely available online, but it turns out (thanks to the work of California teacher Larry Ferlazzo) that its source is the National Center for Education Statistics’ annual “Condition of Education” (CoE) report (2002 edition).

There don’t seem to be any breakdowns in the cited report that permit one to examine precisely how many teachers come from the “bottom third,” but the CoE does include a few tables on the SAT/ACT scores of teachers who received a bachelor’s degree in 1992-93 and had actually taught by the time 1997 rolled around (and for whom such data were available).

One table lists directly the percent of teachers who scored in the top half – 40.9 percent. Using figures in a different table to very roughly ballpark the proportion of 1992-93 graduates-turned-teachers in the bottom quartile (lowest 25 percent), it would be a little under 30 percent.*

Overall, then, 1992-93 graduates who chose teaching were somewhat overrepresented in the bottom of the distribution, and underrepresented in the top. The blanket characterization of these results by McKinsey (via NCEE) – that we are “recruiting our teachers from the bottom third” – seems more than a little misleading.

The second standard source for the “bottom third” claims is more clear and well-documented. It is a subsequent McKinsey report (2010), one which doesn’t rely on questionable interpretations from indirect sources, but rather its own analysis. That report claims, “The U.S. attracts most of its teachers from the bottom two-thirds of college classes, with nearly half coming from the bottom third.”

According to a footnote, these data are “derived from the U.S. Department of Education, NCES, 2001 Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Survey.” The appendix to the report confirms that the “top-“ and “bottom” third figures are also based on SAT/ACT scores, specifically those of 1999 graduates whose first job (at least by 2001) was teaching. The breakdown for these graduates is as follows: 23 percent came from the “top third;” 47 percent from the “bottom third;” and 29 percent from the “middle third.” This presents a somewhat more negative picture than the CoE data discussed above.

Why the differences? Because these studies are looking at different groups of teachers. In the CoE data, it’s 1993 graduates who had taught by 1997 (four years later), while the data used in the second McKinsey include 1999 graduates who, in 2001 (two years later), said their first job was (or is) teaching. In other words, each set of results is based on two different cohorts of college graduates, who are also identified in different ways, at different points after graduation….

Neither sample is necessarily representative of the teacher workforce as a whole, or of prior and subsequent cohorts.

Overall, then, the blanket assertion that teachers are coming from the “bottom third” of graduates is, at best, an incomplete picture. It’s certainly true that, when the terciles are defined in terms of SAT/ACT scores, there is consistent evidence that new teachers are disproportionately represented in this group (see here and here for examples from the academic literature).

 http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/do-teachers-really-come-from-the-bottom-third-of-college-graduates/2011/12/07/gIQAg8HPdO_blog.html

There isn’t really a definitive answer.

Three 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 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:

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) 

A good comparative study is A Comparative Study of Teacher Preparation and Qualifications in Six Nations by the Consortium for Policy Research In Education.

Richard M. Ingersoll, et. al. found :

Our study suggests at least three possible sources of the problem of underqualified teachers. One possible cause lies in the pre-employment requirements and standards

themselves. The depth, breadth and rigor of college or university teacher training and preparation requirements and of government licensing and certification standards are possible sources of inadequacies. In these cases, remedies must look to reform of institutional preparation programs or of government licensing requirements.

A second possible source of underqualified teachers lies in the failure of the teaching force to meet existing requirements and standards. This could be for a variety of reasons–including deficits in candidates’ ability, education, preparation or training. Falling into this category are candidates who have not completed a required degree, lack adequate professional training, have not had adequate practice teaching, have not obtained a certificate or license, have not completed sufficient coursework in their major area of concentration, or are unable to pass required tests. Remedies must address the source of noncompliance with the standards and the reasons for gaps between rule and reality. Do those entering preparation institutions lack the ability to meet the requirements? Is the problem due to a qualification gap where an earlier generation of veteran teachers do not meet newly upgraded standards? Does the problem lie with the adequacy of preparation programs and institutions themselves? Do they offer inadequate curricula or support for their students? Does the source of the problem lie at the point of hiring and employment? Do schools hire candidates who do not meet theexisting standards? If so, is this because of an inadequate supply of willing and able applicants at the prevailing wage, or because of inadequacies in the hiring process itself?

The answer to why there are not more quality teachers is not simple.

Resource:

A Comparative Study of Teacher Preparation and Qualifications in Six Nations

Consortium for Policy Research In Education

By Richard M. Ingersoll, United States  With

Ding Gang and Sun Meilu, People’s Republic of China (PRC)
Kwok Chan Lai, Hong Kong
Hidenori Fujita, Japan
Ee-gyeong Kim, Republic of Korea
Steven K. S. Tan and Angela F. L. Wong, Singapore
Pruet Siribanpitak and Siriporn Boonyananta, Thailand 

http://www.cpre.org/images/stories/cpre_pdfs/sixnations_final.pdf

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©