Published Online: May 7, 2013
Published in Print: May 8, 2013, as Teacher Quality

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Teacher Quality

"Systematic Sorting: Teacher Characteristics and Class Assignments"

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Within schools, less experienced and minority teachers are more often assigned classes with lower-achieving students than their more experienced or white colleagues, according to a paper published last month in the journal Sociology of Education.

Stanford University researchers Demetra Kalogrides and Susanna Loeb, along with Tara Béteille of the World Bank in Washington, looked at a set of data on teacher assignments from the Miami-Dade County, Fla., district from the 2003-04 to the 2010-11 school years, linked to the students and courses taught by those teachers. They also drew on a survey of some 6,800 teachers in the district.

They found that teachers with 10 to 20 years of experience had students with higher average prior achievement, relative to students assigned to first-year teachers, at both the elementary and secondary levels, as did teachers who graduated from more-competitive colleges. Black teachers generally had the most-challenging assignments, particularly when they taught in schools with more white colleagues.

Vol. 32, Issue 30, Page 5

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