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Study says lower-achieving students often are taught by less-experienced teachers

texaspgtexaspg Super ModeratorSuper Moderators Posts: 213
edited May 2013 in Parents Forum
Stanford study finds troubling patterns of teacher assignments within schools

"A study of a major urban school district reveals how high-achieving students tend to get the most experienced teachers, leaving other students in classes with less experienced teachers."
Post edited by texaspg on
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Replies to: Study says lower-achieving students often are taught by less-experienced teachers

  • barronsbarrons Registered Users Posts: 48
    edited May 2013
    School districts face no-win choice. Keep best teachers happy or have them leave for suburbs.
  • gouf78gouf78 Registered Users Posts: 54
    edited May 2013
    Higher level courses require teachers able to teach the material. So it's a given that the best teachers get the best students.
  • mathmommathmom Registered Users Posts: 70
    edited May 2013
    Around here the NYC schools basically provide training for the suburbs. When I was on a hiring committee nearly every teacher had already put in time teaching in the city. They were ready for something a little less challenging.
  • charlieschmcharlieschm Registered Users Posts: 36
    edited May 2013
    I've seen cases where rich suburban school districts hired away great teachers from poor inner city school districts after those teachers gained a few years of experience.

    There was some controversy a few years ago about the way Philadelphia School teachers were assigned. It was based upon seniority. The new teachers would often get assigned to the lowest income schools, which had the most open positions. After those teachers had some seniority, they could request transfers to other schools. Most asked to be transferred to schools in middle income areas. Therefore, the system ended up giving the new teachers to the poor kids and the experienced teachers to the middle income kids.
  • JHSJHS Registered Users Posts: 36
    edited May 2013
    The funny thing about that article is that it makes everything seem so simple: The dedicated master teacher with 20 years of experience and a degree from a competitive college shows up ready to teach the disadvantaged and alienated, and finds that somehow a nefarious administration has assigned him a class full of relatively privileged high achievers. Reality is a lot more complex.

    Good teachers always have a lot of say in what and whom they teach, because they can vote with their feet if they are not happy.

    Union contracts give teachers the right to bid on plum placements based on seniority.

    In a district like Miami-Dade, it's not a given that even the higher-achieving students are going to be successful. There's an understandable tendency for administrators and teachers to root for the "good kids," the ones who show up every day and turn in their homework and want to learn. They are not on auto-pilot; they need real teaching and guidance, but everyone wants them to get what they need.

    It's not just the helicopter parents. More engaged students tend to learn the ropes and to figure out how to get the class assignments they want. If there are two teachers teaching Geometry, and one has a bad reputation, all of a sudden there will be lots of kids signed up for Italian I, which happens to conflict with the disfavored geometry class. And so forth.
  • HuntHunt Registered Users Posts: 153
    edited May 2013
    Also, the best teachers want to teach. They don't want to deal with a lot of behavior problems. If they don't realize this when they start, they soon do.

    Plus, the parents of the weakest (and worst-behaved) students rarely complain.

    In my opinion, the only way to buck this natural tendency would be to pay the teachers more for more challenging classes.
  • xiggixiggi Super Moderators, Big Mailbox Posts: 157
    edited May 2013
    Rewarding teachers for tougher assignments might work. But there are plenty of other solutions:

    Curbing the AP like incentives
    Rotating teachers fi classes
    Grouping teachers in teams
    Better recruiting and training
    Assigning master teachers after school programs

    And attacking frontally the organizations that make all positive changes impossible.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered Users Posts: 100
    edited May 2013
    And this stuff is news?

    Anyone associated with the teaching profession has known about this forever.
  • barronsbarrons Registered Users Posts: 48
    edited May 2013
    Yes that's why I just laugh when the well-meaning keep saying we need the best teachers in the worst classes. Sure, sell that to the teachers. Good people always have more choices in a free country. Until the start drafting teachers this won't change.
  • xiggixiggi Super Moderators, Big Mailbox Posts: 157
    edited May 2013
    Sure, sell that to the teachers.

    Why is there such a need to "sell" it to the teachers, or to their representatives. If a factory owner wants to move its best assemblers to a weak area of the production, he decides that and orders the changes. Same thing in the service industry. Are the best salespeople never asked to handle a tough customer?

    The entire issue is that "we" have abdicated the direction of our education to the ... service providers, and allowed them to be protected via extorted CBA. Are we really worried that changes in the education model would cause a massive exodus of the best teachers, if "we" happen to request a different type of assignment? Are we really worried that we could not recruit new waves of teachers, and perhaps teachers who come in with better academic qualifications than the departing ones? Was is it that is at stake here? A failing and dysfunctional system of education that can only educate the ones who can educate themselves?

    Seriously?
  • garlandgarland Registered Users Posts: 65
    edited May 2013
    I don't know where you're talking about, but my husband has zero say in what classes he teaches. He has taught the low-achieving classes in the past, and has an affinity for them, but the school wants him in AP. (though on the other hand, we no longer have "lower level classes." we have college prep and honors.) Teaching college prep has become a challenge, as half are not college-bound, and are supposed to surreptitiously get "differentiated instruction" (in other words--different standards) but it's all hush hush. But he'd still rather do that than AP, which is a tremendous amount of work. He's doing both because that's what he's assigned, and the most boring, uninspiring science teacher in the school is teaching Honors, so, mixed bag, I guess.

    But in any case, totally in the hands of administration, not teachers.
  • glidoglido Registered Users Posts: 35
    edited May 2013
    Where is the study that shows the most experienced and highest-achieving parents get their kids into the classes with the highest-acheiving and most experienced teachers or they move their high-acheiving kids to another school that provides the teacher quality they insist upon?
  • barronsbarrons Registered Users Posts: 48
    edited May 2013
    Xiggi-have you had a real job? As I said, good people have more choices. Good profs move to better higher paying schools. In my field top producers move to firms that will give them better deals all the time. Teachers are not line-workers. Even good welders probably can move to better jobs if they don't like the work assigned.
    Not only do the good leave-many will not even start at urban districts with problems.

    http://cepa.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/TeacherSorting.pdf
  • cobratcobrat Registered Users Posts: 85
    edited May 2013
    Also, the best teachers want to teach. They don't want to deal with a lot of behavior problems. If they don't realize this when they start, they soon do.

    Plus, the parents of the weakest (and worst-behaved) students rarely complain.

    From what I've seen in my public middle school and from hearing of older kids attending my neighborhood zoned HS which was a crime-ridden drug infested hellhole up until it was closed a few years ago, many parents of the worst behaved students would be adamantly in denial about that or worse...go all-out in defending their kids against disciplinary measures. Even when the infraction's serious enough to get them arrested by the NYPD and get them sent to Juvie after being convicted.
    In my opinion, the only way to buck this natural tendency would be to pay the teachers more for more challenging classes.

    Not enough considering how the state of many US K-12 classrooms has deteriorated to the point the disruptive/violent students and/or their parents are effectively controlling the classrooms.

    In addition to higher pay, there needs to be measures in place to back up classroom teachers if/when they need to enact disciplinary measures....including kicking the student out of the class to in-school detention in the dean's office/alternative school to ensure the rest of the students a safe viable learning environment.

    As it is, many US classrooms resemble chaotic zoos with teachers being forced to act as babysitter while trying to teach the other kids. That, my friends, is setting the teachers up to fail.
    A failing and dysfunctional system of education that can only educate the ones who can educate themselves?

    It seems you have the expectation that teachers should be held responsible for learning outcomes even if the student(s) concerned and their parents can't be bothered to fulfill his/her part....come to class prepared to attend to their lessons and be respectful to the teacher no matter how "boring" or "irrelevant" the class/teacher may be or if not, at least don't whine about consequences like being sent to the dean.
  • xiggixiggi Super Moderators, Big Mailbox Posts: 157
    edited May 2013
    Xiggi-have you had a real job?

    What do you expect to gain from that real of hypothetical question? What if I would ask you how many decades is has been since you spent any time as a student in high school or in tertiary education? What if I asked you if you have any professional or educational experience in the subject discussed above? Aren't we all exchanging opinions based on our experience or inherent bias.

    But, I could have saved a few keystrokes and answered that I have had a real job for quite a while, and jobs that are directly related to the subjects often discussed here.

    How about you?
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