I missed this article last month from the Center for American Progress, where they look at the success that New York City has had in increasing the qualifications of teachers at their lowest performing schools. The metric they used was the difference between the SAT scores of teachers at the best schools and the worst schools, along with the difference in the percentage of uncertified teachers at those schools. Since 2000, they’ve sharply narrowed those gaps. Remarkably, they’ve done that without just transferring stronger teachers from the low-poverty schools.
The article pinpoints three “lessons” for other districts:
- Federal, state, and district policies can help raise the quality of teachers in high-poverty schools.
- Improving teacher quality in high-poverty schools does not have to come at the expense of teacher quality in low-poverty schools.
- Strategies such as increasing the prestige of the profession and improving compensation are just as important as improving working conditions.
That last one is key, and something that Breakthrough cares a lot about.