When talking about educational equity, there are so many pieces that fit into that puzzle. From the coursework offered to qualifications of the teachers in front of the students to the buildings themselves, educational equity can take many different forms.
When we look at instruction, the Center for American Progress reports that low-income students are more likely to be taught by inexperienced and out-of-field teachers. In high-poverty schools, 27% of classes are taught by out-of-field teachers compared with only 14% in low-poverty schools. One reason for this may be that because the teaching profession is not enough attracting and supporting new teachers 14% of teachers leave the profession after one year, and in urban districts, close to 50% of new teachers leave the profession during their first 5 years of teaching. So the question then becomes how do we keep high-quality teachers in the profession and provide high-quality instruction for all students?
At TSC, we think one key support is expanding learning time, which gives teachers and administrators a chance to rethink how to use every classroom minute wisely and better support community and student needs, with more time for academics or more enrichment. Focusing on student needs is of course paramount, but in order to have real results, we must also give teachers time to do their jobs well. The National Center on Time & Learning has recently released a report that looks at schools that both expand learning time and empower teachers as leaders. These high-performing schools are giving teachers the time need – to collaborate, plan, mentor peers, and work with individual students – and they have the results to show for it: content faculty and accelerated student outcomes.
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