Tag Archives: teacher pipeline

Forget Everything You Think You Know About Rural Teachers

I can’t remember the last time I read a report that so thoroughly informed me about the basics of an important subject or so swiftly disabused me of my faulty assumptions.

If you care about rural-education issues or track the composition of the teacher workforce, you must read “The Supply and Demand for Rural Teachers” by Dan Player.

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Image from The Atlantic, “The Challenge of Teaching Science in Rural America”

This short and edifying paper is the latest release from our rural ed-reform initiative, ROCI. The paper’s purpose is deceptively simple: “Summarize what we know about the current state of rural teacher labor markets by contrasting them with the same data from urban, suburban, and large and small town settings.”

What follows are mostly descriptive statistics. Nevertheless, you’ll almost certainly find yourself repeatedly thinking, “I. Did. Not. Know. That.”

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High Expectations and Low Pay, a Teacher Compensation Model Whose Time is Done

Five years ago, The Equity Project (TEP) charter school in New York City made national headlines with promises to pay teachers an annual salary of $125,000. A new Mathematica report suggests the experiment worked.

TEP aims to address student achievement through a laser focus on teacher quality driven by a combination of high salaries and a bonus structure, a rigorous hiring process including live teaching auditions, regular embedded professional development, and high levels of accountability. The first four years of results are in. In 2013, TEP students, over 90 percent of whom qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, demonstrated 1.6 additional years of math learning and 0.4 additional years of English learning compared with matched peers.  What’s more, by foregoing administrative positions and making other trade-offs, TEP is implementing this model at the same level of public funding available to every New York charter school.

TEP demonstrates–albeit at a small scale–that it’s possible for teachers to be highly compensated without increasing costs in a real public school finance system, and that it’s possible for a public school to provide the kind of organizational structure necessary to manage highly-compensated professionals effectively.

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