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Wednesday, April 10. 2019
Achievement Gap Between Rich and Poor Public School Students Unchanged Over 50 Years. Spending four times more in real dollars per pupil doesn't compensate for low-quality teaching.
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Why do these gaps persist? The authors suggest that any negative impacts stemming from rise of single-parent families may well be offset by factors that correlate with better educational outcomes, such as fewer siblings and the fact that today's parents in general are better educated. They hypothesize that a steep decline in the quality of teachers is likely a big factor.
No hypothesis about lower standards for school discipline, compared to previous decades? The paper has NO reference to discipline. One mention of "culture." One would think a peer culture hostile to what students are supposed to do- such as read and study- might have an effect on student achievement. From the link at "The Unwavering SES Achievement Gap:"
Most significantly, the quality of the teaching force—a centrally important school input affecting student achievement—may well have declined over the course of the past several decades.22 (page 21)The paper mentions changing job markets for women. But that wasn't something beginning in "the past several decades," but began about 50 years ago.
the probable decline in teacher quality in schools serving lower SES students. These unwavering gaps suggest reconsidering existing policy thrusts. (page 22)
Most significantly, the quality of the teaching force—a centrally important school input affecting student achievement—may well have declined over the course of the past several decades.22
More conjectures coming out of the Ed Schools:"may well have declined." Gains in Teacher Quality:Academic capabilities of the U.S. teaching force are on the rise.
We find that more academically competent individuals are being drawn into the teaching profession. There is a small drop in average SAT percentile rankings for teachers between 1993 and 2000, from 45 to 42 (the raw SAT scores are similar for teachers in the 1993 and 2000 cohorts, but scores for nonteachers were higher for the 2000 cohort, resulting in a decrease in the average percentile rank for teachers). There is a sizable jump up in teachers’ average percentile rank to 50 for the 2008 cohort (see Figure 1), driven mainly by the proportion of teachers with SAT scores that fall in the top quartile of the distribution. This finding of increasing academic competence for newer entrants to the teacher labor market also shows up when we use undergraduate GPA as our indicator of academic competency, though research by Cory Koedel indicates that inconsistent grading standards across academic majors may render this measure less meaningful.Oh well. Ed School conjectures that do not necessarily match the facts. Why am I not surprised?
It is more than just low quality teaching. It is also policies that lend themselves to students doing little to nothing to help themselves and policies that allow disruptive students to make it almost impossible for other students to have a learning environment at school. But probably most important it is lack of parental participation and support in the learning process.
With some exception because of students with mental disabilities or very low IQ I could (just as any teacher or intelligent adult could) teach them everything they should learn in K-12. The parents could do this without the schools or teachers. I'm not advocating for that I am merely pointing out that both the educational material and the actual process of teaching is basic at this level that almost anyone could teach it and almost any student could learn it. All that is necessary is a motivated student and regular and consistent instruction/teaching. This is not rocket science. While it may be nice to have a teacher with a masters in education and a degree in a particular discipline it is not necessary for learning what is required to graduate from high school.
I was mistaken in thinking the authors were Ed School professors. The two major authors are academics who shuttle between the universities and government. I have not seen any indication from their CVs that they have ever been in charge of a primary or secondary school classroom. I would prefer that those who write research papers about teachers and schools have some first-hand primary or secondary teacher experience.
While it would be fairly obvious that in the last 50+ years, as women professionals no longer had to confine themselves to nursing or teaching, teacher quality has declined, the picture in the last 2 decades indicates a slight uptick in academic quality of teachers.
The authors are correct that merely increasing school funding will not necessarily lead to better schools. It hasn't when comparing big urban school systems with , for example, schooling in North Dakota.
The Unwavering SES Achievement Gap.
Children should not be in physical danger when they go to school. Someone should teach something. Beyond that, schools don't affect outcomes much.
I keep reading about despair over the inability to alter the strong connection between socio-economic status and academic performance, as if (1) academic performance were not at all linked to student IQ and (2) student IQ were not at all linked to parental IQ and (3) parental IQ were not at all linked to socio-economic status.
I live in a ritzy neighborhood across the street from the local schools, K-12. It's fascinating to watch the little ones rush into the school every single day and then watch the change as they age and dread school unless they play in the band or football.
It's probably not so much the miserable teachers as it is the worthless students and when a whole culture inculcates its young and every single member in being anti-civilization? yeah, it shows as they age into their teens and get more and more 'woke'.
The authors are desperate to blame the teachers yet they present zero evidence to support their theory. The decline in teacher standards is more pronounced in low SES areas, they say. Low SES schools are a nightmare that would break even the world's greatest teachers. Good students need stable homes, good diets, parental support, resources and self-belief before good teachers can work with them. All these factors are missing from low SES areas and students have no incentive to do well in school. The teachers become the most stable person in the lives of these children who are born into and will spend their whole lives reliant on the state for survival. Much of America's low SES school's would have average IQs of around 75, very few children read books or do homework, they are addicted to their phones, they are vulgar, inarticulate and have no cultural frame of reference that doesn't involve tattoos or violence.
Curtis (6), Walt (7), and Robert (8) nailed it. Primary responsibility falls on the parents. Not that it's totally their fault, but culture has a lot to do with it. Single parent homes makes it most challenging even for those single parents who are trying to do the best for their children often have very little left over at the end of the day.
In order for the education of children to happen, you need 3 things, a high level of commitment from students, teachers, and parents. if any one group is missing education will not happen. Money is not the answer nor is it wise to just blame teachers. Putting the blame on racial issues is even worse.
When parents absolve themselves of any responsibility for their child's education and hand it off to the state they should expect the same level of results they get from the rest of the government.