Here’s a picture that tells you something you already knew: kids at wealthier schools get more experienced teachers than do kids at schools where much of the population is in poverty. It’s well-established that beginning teachers aren’t as good as teachers with several years of experience. (Never mind the extensive data confirming this…just ask any experienced teacher how much she learned the first few years on the job.) Who gets the inexperienced teachers? Kids in poor schools get the inexperienced teachers.
To be fair, while the difference is large it’s not overwhelming. Still, I can’t help but wonder why the kids who most need experienced teachers get about 40 percent more newbies.
By the way, teachers in these poorer schools put in the same number of hours a week on their teaching duties as do teachers in wealthier schools. (Although how they spend those hours isn’t the same. More on this next time.)