Access to Effective Teaching for Disadvantaged Students (In Focus Brief)

Access to Effective Teaching for Disadvantaged Students (In Focus Brief)

Published: Nov 30, 2013
Publisher: Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research
Associated Project

Access to Effective Teaching for Low-Income Students

Time frame: 2010-2016

Prepared for:

U.S. Department of Education

U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences


Eric Isenberg

Liz Potamites

Robert Santillano

Heinrich Hock

Michael Hansen

Key Findings

Disadvantaged students received less effective teaching, on average, than other students in the 29 study districts.

Recent federal initiatives in education, such as Race to the Top, the Teacher Incentive Fund, and the flexibility policy for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act are designed in part to ensure that disadvantaged students have equal access to effective teaching. The initiatives respond to the concern that disadvantaged students may be taught by less effective teachers and that this could contribute to the achievement gap between disadvantaged students and other students. To address the need for evidence on this issue, the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education initiated a study to examine access to effective teaching for disadvantaged students in 29 diverse school districts. Mathematica Policy Research and its partner, the American Institutes for Research, conducted the study, which focused on English/ language arts (ELA) and math teachers in grades 4 through 8 from the 2008–2009 to the 2010–2011 school year.

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