Low ability teachers, low ability students?
Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). He has received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work, including recognitions from the cable industry, Phi Delta Kappa, and the National School Boards Association. In Spring 2011 he was a Visiting Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Dr. McLeod blogs regularly about technology leadership issues at Dangerously Irrelevant and Mind Dump, and occasionally at The Huffington Post. He can be reached at scottmcleod.net.
Here are some research findings for you...
Smart people leave teaching?
Of the teachers who had high college entrance exam scores, almost a fourth of them leave the profession within a decade. In contrast, only about 11% of the individuals with low scores leave the teaching profession within 10 years. Similarly, more than a third of the teachers with low college entrance exam scores are still teaching a decade after they started, while only 15% of the teachers with high scores are still teaching ten years after they began (Anderson & Carroll, 2008; see also Guarino, Santibanez, & Daley (2006), who note similar results for university selectiveness and certification exam scores). In other words, the percentage of teachers with lower academic ability increases in schools over time. The brightest go elsewhere.
Teacher smarts matter?
Discuss among yourselves
Let's assume that, generally speaking, these studies are correct: 1) smart people are less likely to stay in teaching (thus resulting in a concentration of teachers with lower academic ability), and 2) the academic ability of teachers impacts student learning outcomes. Now what?