Low ability teachers, low ability students?

[cross-posted at LeaderTalk]


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?

  • Higher teacher ACT scores positively influences student reading scores (Ferguson & Ladd, 1996)
  • Teachers' verbal ability influences student performance (Greenwald, Hedges, & Laine, 1996)
  • [S]tudents learn more from teachers with higher test scores. Test scores matter..." (Wayne & Youngs, 2003)
  • 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?

    References

    • Anderson, S. E., & Carroll, C. D. (2008). Teacher career choices: Timing of teacher careers among 1992-1993 Bachelor's degree recipients (NCES 2008-153). Washington, DC: United States Department of Education.
    • Ferguson, R.F., & Ladd, H.F. (1996). How and why money matters: An analysis of Alabama schools. In H.F. Ladd (Ed.), Holding schools accountable. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 265-298.
    • Greenwald, R., Hedges, L.V., & Laine, R.D. (1996, Autumn). The effect of school resources on student achievement. Review of Educational Research, 66(3), 361-396.
    • Guarino, C. M., Santibanez, L., & Daley, G. A. (2006). Teacher recruitment and retention: A review of the recent empirical literature. Review of Educational Research, 76(2), 173-208.
    • Wayne, A. J., & Youngs, P. (2003). Teacher characteristics and student achievement gains: A review. Review of Educational Research, 73(1), 89-122.
    • LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

      Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

      Getty Images
      Sponsored
      Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

      No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

      Keep reading Show less

      Think you’re bad at math? You may suffer from ‘math trauma’

      Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.

      Image credit: Getty Images
      Mind & Brain

      I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.

      Keep reading Show less

      A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

      She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

      Strange Maps
      • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
      • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
      • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
      Keep reading Show less

      How KGB founder Iron Felix justified terror and mass executions

      The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.

      Getty Images
      Politics & Current Affairs
      • Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
      • The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
      • The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
      Keep reading Show less