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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Op-ed: Least experienced teachers teach neediest students



Florida newspapers won’t write about teacher quality (except for the St. Petersburg Times on occasion) but the issue will continue to be a bigger and bigger deal.

Here’s an op-ed on the issue from the latest U.S. News & World Report. (The author is a former senior education policy adviser to U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., and she now works for the New America Foundation. Just who you’d expect to be a teacher-basher, right?)

The piece begins:

“Imagine for a moment that you are driving your child to the hospital. She has a high fever and is suffering from severe abdominal pain. It’s unclear what’s wrong but she is in definite need of medical attention.

“Now imagine that the only doctor on call is a recently graduated medical student. It’s her first day on the job and there is no experienced physician or surgeon available for consultation. Are you satisfied with this level of care for your child? I wouldn’t be. I’d want to benefit from the knowledge of a more experienced physician. Wouldn’t you?

“Unfortunately, a similar scenario is playing out in America’s urban classrooms with shocking regularity. Teachers with the least experience are educating the most disadvantaged students in the highest poverty, most challenging schools. Low-income kids are being “triaged” not by experienced teachers, but by those with fewer than three years of teaching to go on.”

Ron Matus, state education reporter


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:26am]


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