A survey that measures teacher quality in Texas has found that students in underachieving poor and minority districts are more likely to have underqualified teachers than those in better-performing, wealthier, white districts.
For their study, the Austin-based Association of Texas Professional Educators measured teacher quality through teacher-certification test scores, years of experience, length of time in the same teaching position, and stability of school staff. It relies on data from the 2008-09 school year.
The survey found that in poorer districts with a high percentage of minority students, teachers were more likely to be less experienced. They also left the school after a relatively short period. More-affluent districts had more-experienced teachers who stayed longer. And teaching quality in schools was linked to student achievement.
A version of this article appeared in the October 27, 2010 edition of Education Week as Texas Teachers