Tom Bloch on the Education Gap

Tom Bloch: I think it is such an unfortunate situation that we have in this country when you look at student achievement by race, and it is just… it is for a democracy, to have a situation like we have in this country where we have white kids performing at such a high level relative to black kids, and we just have to address this.

We have to do what needs to be done, and maybe part of the answer is to pay teachers more to be in black schools to attract the better teachers, and I think part of the problem is that when you look at colleges of education today, and you look at the students in those classrooms, the future teachers of America, they really tend to be white and female. And where do these folks want to teach? Primarily in the same kind of schools that they lived in, grew up in. So it’s very difficult to get people who really want to teach in an urban setting, because it is a much tougher environment. And now, with increased emphasis on accountability and standardized test scores, the pressure on all teachers, not just in the urban core but on all teachers, is pretty fierce. So there is a great demand to show student improvement on test scores, which puts a fair amount of pressure on everybody.

 

Recorded on: October 13, 2008

 

A pay incentive could work to get talented teachers in minority classrooms.

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