Re: Re: Maybe there's no 'teacher quality gap'? after all

Here's more (a lot more) from Whitney Tilson, continuing our ongoing debate about the Education Next forum on teacher equity. (Yes, this is a debate about a debate!)

There are two inter-related problems: 1) overall teacher quality has been steadily declining for decades (see pages 59-62 of my school reform presentation) and 2) teacher quality is unfairly distributed (pages 65-70).

#2 is the dirty little secret of American education: both between schools and, especially WITHIN schools (Hanushek is correct), the top 1/3 of students (mostly wealthier, white kids; the ones more likely to have parents who read to them, have enriching stuff happening in their lives outside of school, who will likely go to college regardless of which school or teacher they get, etc.) have these advantages reinforced by getting the best 1/3 of teachers; the middle third of students get the middle third of teachers, and the bottom third of kids (mostly low income and minority) get the dregs of our teacher quality pool.

The most shocking slide of the 241 in my deck is page 69, which shows that in Illinois (and, I have ZERO doubt, everywhere else), in the 10% of schools with the highest minority percentage of students, 60% of the teachers are in the bottom 10% on the Teacher Quality Index, and nearly 90% are in the bottom quartile!

The solution is NOT to ???strip mine??? good teachers from rich schools and send them to poor schools ??? that's a zero-sum game that just screws other kids.?? And let's be real: politically, that will NEVER happen to any degree.

Instead, we have to do a lot of hard work to fix BOTH problems, as I outline on pages 63 and 64.

-Mike Petrilli

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