International Report Roundup

Teacher-Quality Gap Examined Worldwide

By Mary C. Breaden — February 05, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Teacher Qualification, Opportunity Gap, and National Achievement in 46 Countries

In a comparison of 46 countries, the United States ranked 42nd in its ability to provide equity in the distribution of high-quality math teachers to low- and upper-income 8th graders, according to a report by a team of researchers from the University of Missouri-Columbia and Pennsylvania State University in University Park.

The researchers found that in the United States, 68 percent of upper-income students in 8th grade had high-quality math teachers, compared with 53 percent for low-income students. That gap of 15 percentage points was significantly higher than the average gap for all countries of 2.5 percentage points, the study found. Even though it has a smaller percentage of highly qualified teachers in total, Ghana ranked number one in the study for addressing the quality gap because it actually has a higher percentage of low-income students, 38 percent, being taught by highly qualified teachers than upper income students, 25 percent.

The criteria for being defined in the study as a highly qualified mathematics teacher are three years of teaching experience, full certification, and a college major in math or math education. Countries with large percentages of high-achieving students in math typically had higher percentages of highly qualified teachers, the authors found.

The study also found that 30 percent of U.S. 8th grade math teachers had not majored in math or math education, compared with an average of 13 percent of teachers in all 46 countries who lacked a math major.

The analysis of the data was based on the 2003 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, a study administered by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, based in Amsterdam. The U.S. Department of Education uses the study data to examine U.S. students’ progress in math and science.

A version of this article appeared in the February 06, 2008 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Recruitment & Retention Webinar
Be the Change: Strategies to Make Year-Round Hiring Happen
Learn how to leverage actionable insights to diversify your recruiting efforts and successfully deploy a year-round recruiting plan.
Content provided by Frontline
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Critical Ways Leaders Can Build a Culture of Belonging and Achievement
Explore innovative practices for using technology to build an environment of belonging and achievement for all staff and students.
Content provided by DreamBox Learning
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Professional Development Webinar
Strategies for Improving Student Outcomes with Teacher-Student Relationships
Explore strategies for strengthening teacher-student relationships and hear how districts are putting these methods into practice to support positive student outcomes.
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

International What the Research Says How Nations Can Repair Pandemic Damage to Students' Well-Being, Trust in Government
International data suggest the pandemic has marginalized young people in many countries.
3 min read
Image of high school students working together in a school setting.
E+/Getty
International What the Research Says Schooling in a Pandemic: How Other Countries Are Doing It
A new study highlights how instruction in 11 countries has changed following pandemic closures and outbreaks.
3 min read
Children attend a lesson in a school in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has lifted the restrictions on schools in Russia's capital, students of all grades will to return for face-to-face education after months studying remotely.
Children attend a lesson in a school in Moscow last January. Russian schools had relatively shorter periods of academic disruptions than other countries, a new study finds.
Pavel Golovkin/AP
International Opinion Why Other Countries Keep Outperforming Us in Education (and How to Catch Up)
Money from the American Rescue Plan could be our last chance to build the school system we need, writes Marc Tucker.
Marc Tucker
5 min read
A student climbs stacks of books to reach the top
Tatyana Pivovarova/iStock/Getty Images Plus
International Global Test Finds Digital Divide Reflected in Math, Science Scores
New data from the 2019 Trends in International Math and Science Study show teachers and students lack digital access and support.
3 min read
Image of data.
iStock/Getty