Making an A+ Teacher

Boston’s NPR station, WBUR, has launched a week-long series, “Making an A+ Teacher,” which aims to examine the factors that make a good teacher great. The first story aired today (“What Makes a Good Teacher?“) and focused on how successful teachers embody three distinct roles: social worker, instructor, and manager.

The online component of the series includes an interactive map of Massachusetts, which overlays teacher salaries and per-pupil spending with MCAS (state standardized test) scores. Check it out here.

For more information:

  • Follow WBUR on Twitter @WBUR

New Report Shows High-poverty Schools Have Fewer In-field Teachers

The Education TrustThe Education Trust, a nonprofit group working to close the achievement gap, published a study yesterday that reports that 9 years after a federal law was passed to ensure that low-income students were being assigned to strong teachers, students in high-poverty schools are still disproportionately taught by out-of-field and inexperienced teachers. According to the report, Not Prepared for Class, “Staffing schools in a way that ensures that all kids have access to strong teachers requires states and school districts to mount strategies that address multiple problems at once.”

The study’s recommendation’s include:

  • Collect data on teacher quality and equality, and get it out in public.
  • Adopt a policy prohibiting disproportionate assignment of high-quality or low-quality teachers.
  • Use the state’s authority to intervene in low-performing schools.
  • Provide big incentives for strong teachers to stay in or move to high-poverty and high-minority schools.
  • Measure and hold accountable teacher preparation programs for producing high-quality teachers for high poverty and high-minority schools.
  • Develop rigorous evaluation systems to measure teacher effectiveness.