Teacher Training & Evaluation
High-quality teachers can have a huge impact on student achievement. An effective teacher helps students learn to think critically and develop their own opinions, in addition to other skills that are vital to success in school and throughout their careers.
Ineffective teachers, on the other hand, can contribute to students’ falling behind in school. In low-income schools, the percentage of novice teachers - those with less than three years’ experience - is twice that of high-income districts. One study in Los Angeles found that low-income students and students of color are up to three times more likely to have ineffective teachers than high-income, white, or Asian students.
Quality training programs can make a significant difference in teacher effectiveness, with one study showing that novice teachers from strong programs contributed the equivalent of 2.5 more months of learning to their students when compared to graduates of weaker programs. Teacher evaluations are another way to strengthen instruction, but most districts fail to provide teachers with the feedback they need to improve. Additionally, many districts don’t include measures of student achievement in evaluations of teachers, missing out on a critical opportunity to improve California kids’ experience in the classroom.
Pro-Kid® Policy Agenda
California should ensure that all students receive quality instruction by updating programs preparing future teachers while also providing new teachers with meaningful and objective feedback to benefit the state’s most disadvantaged and struggling schools and students.
California students deserve qualified and effective teachers in every classroom, but this is not the reality for many students. A recent court ruling concluded that California’s policies regarding seniority, dismissal and tenure disproportionately harm the learning of poor and minority students. Some modest progress is being made, as the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing is working to improve teacher preparation, so all kids can have a high-quality learning experience.