Students of color in low-income schools are 3 to 10 times more likely to have unqualified teachers than students in predominantly White schools. These disparities in teacher distribution matter greatly: Research consistently shows that teacher quality is one of the most important variables for student success and that teachers with stronger qualifications produce higher student achievement.
This policy brief, which summarizes a research paper written by the authors for the Center for American Progress, examines the sources of inequitable distributions of teachers. It examines how disparities in school funding and teacher salaries are related to differentials in teacher quality. It draws lessons from successful reforms to describe how policymakers can attract and retain high quality teachers in all communities.
A new book, Global Education Reform: How Privatization and Public Investment Influence Education Outcomes, provides a powerful analysis of these different ends of an ideological spectrum – from market-based experiments to strong state investments in public education.