Why smart teachers quit

Chris Correa cites a study that finds teachers with high ACT scores are more likely to quit teaching than lower-scoring teachers. A year after leaving teaching, the high-ability teachers aren’t earning more money, especially the women.

For neither men nor women do we find evidence that high-ability teachers are exiting for higher non-teaching earnings. We find evidence that job match quality may be a factor in female quits. A woman whose ACT score is above those of her school peers is more likely to quit, regardless of the absolute level of her own ACT score.

Smart people like to work with other smart people.

About Joanne

Comments

  1. Mike in Texas says:

    Smart people like to work with other smart people.

    Oh, I get it! If you’re a teacher you are not smart. That little tidbit from Joanne pretty much sums up her anti-teacher bias she displays almost daily on this website.

    Too bad none of the links she provided actually link to the study discussed. Instead, they link to someone else who also does not provide a link to the study.

    So what exactly is a high ACT or SAT score?

  2. Mike in Texas says:

    Here’s some nice little tidbits I found on the internet relating to teacher SAT and ACT scores. I noticed everything Joanne and #2Pencil cite relate only to perspective teachers and not actually the students in the education programs.

    http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:rhpl5rsCxNAJ:www.mff.org/pubs/performance_assessment.pdf+%22teachers+%2B+ACT+scores%22&hl=en
    Educational TestingService’s (1999) report, The Academic Quality of Prospective Teachers, demonstrated that students who intend to major in education earn lower scores on the SAT and ACT than other college bound students. Yet, the report conveniently neglected to analyze data to showwhether or not a teacher’s scores on these testsrelated to their student’s academic achievement,or their performance ratings by administrators.Fortunately, other researchers have studied thisrelationship or lack there of. Baker (1970),Ducharme (1970), and Maguire’s (1966) researchfound no relationship between teacher SATscores and principals or supervisors teacher per-formance ratings. Evertson, Hawley, andZlotnik’s (1985) review of the research thatattempted to link teacher SAT scores to eitherstudent achievement or principal ratings ofteacher performance similarly found no relation-ship. The only shred of evidence for a teacher’sACT score and its influence on student achieve-ment is Ferguson’s and Ladd’s (1996) widely citedstudy of 30,000 primary school teachers inAlabama. A one standard deviation difference ina teacher’s ACT score generates a .1 standarddeviation difference in fourth-grade students’reading score. There was no effect for teachers’ACT scores on students’ math achievement.Why then, does it matter that prospective teach-ers score 40 points lower than other collegebound seniors on the SAT?

    In other words the ACT and SAT scores of perspective teachers have nothing to do with how well teachers do their jobs.

  3. I believe that this is the paper:
    The academic quality of public school teachers: an analysis of entry and exit behavior
    Michael Podgursky, Ryan Monroe, Donald Watson

    (Click my name for a link)

    I see no anti-teacher bias here. I certainly see an anti-stupid-teacher bias, but I don’t really have a problem with that.

  4. Hmm, in ‘preview’ the link was the URL.

    Try this.

  5. Mike in Texas says:

    Thanks for the link Cris.

  6. greeneyeshade says:

    mike in texas: errr, ‘perspective’ teachers? not ‘prospective?

  7. Mike in Texas says:

    LOL, thanks greeneyeshade

  8. Andy Freeman says:

    > A one standard deviation difference ina teacher’s ACT score generates a .1 standarddeviation difference in fourth-grade students’reading score. There was no effect for teachers’ACT scores on students’ math achievement.

    I thought that MiT told us that student measurements can be used to evaluate teacher performance….

  9. Mike in Texas wrote:

    Oh, I get it! If you’re a teacher you are not smart.

    I thought it was more on the order of “if you’re a dumb teacher, you’re dumb”. But I understand the need to put words in people’s mouths when they aren’t saying what you’d like to hear.

    That little tidbit from Joanne pretty much sums up her anti-teacher bias she displays almost daily on this website.

    She’s such a devil. Mayhap Colonel Mustard will do her in while she’s in the sitting room, using the candlestick.

  10. Andy Freeman says:

    Yes, there’s a “not” missing from my post above.

  11. Thomas Sowell wrote about the generally poor quality of American school teachers in his book “Inside American Education.” Chapter two of that book– titled “Imparied Faculties”– is devoted to the subject.

    The chapter opens: “No discussion of American education can be realistic without considering the calibre of the people who teach in the nation’s schools. By all indicators– whether objective data or first-hand observations– the intellectual calibre of public school teachers in the United States is shockingly low.”

    Of course, the reaction of teachers to this is often predictable: a knee-jerk dismissal, “that’s just teacher bashing,” or something along those lines. Sowell seems to have anticipated this; in a couple of paragraphs, he continues:

    “There are well over 2 million school teachers in the United States– more than all the doctors, lawyers, and engineers combined. Their sheer numbers alone mean that there will inevitably be many exceptions to any generalizations made about teachers.”

    The rest of the chapter is one damning statistic after another. Just for example:

    • In 1951, when the Army tested college students for draft deferments during the Korean War, more than half the students majoring in the humanities, the sciences, and mathematics passed the test. Of those majoring in education, only 27% passed.
    • He gives similar statistics involving SAT and GRE scores (similar in that education majors clearly tend to score below just about everyone else).

    The whole book is extensively footnoted.

  12. Mike in Texas says:

    Thomas Sowell wrote about the generally poor quality of American school teachers in his book “Inside American Education.” Chapter two of that book– titled “Imparied Faculties”– is devoted to the subject.

    I took the time to look up some of his columns and he is pretty much against anything that does not toe the conservative party line. He also refers to teachers’ unions as 800 pound gorillas, which I find absolutely laughable.

    In one of his rants against schools and teachers, where he blames the “achievement gaps of black students” on teachers and schools he makes the following statement, There is nothing mysterious about any of these differences. Asian students put more time into study and homework and watch less television. They behave themselves in class. Their parents don’t tolerate low grades — or even medium grades., which pretty much contradicts everything else he says about how horrible the schools are.

    I don’t put much stock in what Thomas Sowell has to say about education.

  13. Mike in Texas wrote:

    I took the time to look up some of his columns and he is pretty much against anything that does not toe the conservative party line.

    Sowell’s a conservative so to “toe the conservative party line” isn’t much of a stretch for him.

    He also refers to teachers’ unions as 800 pound gorillas, which I find absolutely laughable.

    One out of ten of the delegates at the Democratic National Convention were teachers. You still laughing? Because if you are I guarantee you that Senator Kerry won’t join in a guffaw or two.

    …which pretty much contradicts everything else he says about how horrible the schools are.

    Not quite. Sowell’s observations about Asian students make it clear that in bad schools they succeed despite the quality of the education they are forced to endure. Being unencumbered by the entitlement mentality many Americans have been brought up with the Asian students depend on themselves when their schools and teachers fail them.

    Blacks also seem to have a widespread disdain for education, another contrast with Asians.

    I don’t put much stock in what Thomas Sowell has to say about education.

    Gee, there’s a shocker.

  14. Zippy The Pinhead says:

    Friends of ours who live in Seoul, South Korea have a son who– at the time that I talked to him, a few years back– aspired to major in graphic arts at university.

    At the time we talked I think he was a high school freshman.

    I asked him, just out of curiousity, how many hours per week he spends on mathematics study. He told me it was 10-15 hours per week. Is that how much time you need to spend in order to finish your homework? I asked him. No, he said… the homework from school is just a part of what he has to study. He showed me a couple of supplementary texts which he also studied, in addition to his required text.

    Why would a kid who really has very little interest in math study supplemental texts in addition to his required text? Because he knows he won’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of ever getting into university unless he has more or less mastered calculus, up to and including what we typically consider second semester calculus material (at the college level) here in the good ol’ USA.

    Korean students (like students in Japan and Taiwan, and elsewhere) must score well on a national university entrance exam if they ever want to get into university in Korea.

    The kid that I’m describing won’t ever have to take another required math class after he gets in to university, but he’s sure going to know his math before they let him in to university.

    And it is a mystery why those Koreans consistently kick American K-12 asses in every international comparison?

    So Mike in Texas, in truth, I don’t put much stock in what you have to say, either, because– judging from your frequent comments on this site– you sure don’t seem to know shit from shinola, at least when it comes to education.

  15. ROMAESTMAGNA says:

    Well, I had an above-average SAT score and it was slightly above average and with more time I could have got a stellar score. I am going to take my GMAT test for the business field.
    I was a Dallas teacher until recently. I think I was one of the most knowledgeable in my department, but I suppose I felt as an intellectual I would have been better for my sanity and the service of students been teaching an AP class, but instead I kept getting the freshman from my inner-city school.
    Also in Dallas, the city took away a big chunk of our planning time. I felt it would just get harder and harder to do my work and feel good about my job. I also did not feel safe working over-time, because during my first year my car was broken into.
    Am I smarter than the other teachers because I had a good score on a standardized test? I think some of the teachers in my department were pretty bright, but then again some teachers in the school didn’t seem intellectuals, and they didn’t have to be and don’t have to in order to teach or convey the material they need, unless I am mistaken. You don’t need a high SAT that an engineer would get if you are going to teach English… If you are teaching math, I would hope you would have a good math score etc…

  16. ROMAESTMAGNA says:

    One area where the person is right is that teachers do not leave because they want higher paying jobs per se if that is what the person was saying. I like money that is for sure, but I left because I would have liked overall collegiality in the school environment in an overwhelming sense, but there was much back-stabbing among teachers who should be role models, there was too much curving of scores in the state… Now there is back-stabbing in the corporate job, too. Plus the extra demands and paperwork that kept increasing without returning the planning time that was taken away made me jump ship and feel like I was a fool to ever stepped inside that classroom…. People don’t leave over the pay, though Texas is ranked 32 in the nation in terms of pay… It is because of the working conditions, because teachers are not necessarily materialistic creatures…

Trackbacks

  1. Why do the smart ones leave?

    We’ve all seen the horrible numbers indicating that college students majoring in education, or those who intend to go into teaching or further study in education, have pretty low SAT and ACT scores overall. But now, a new study suggests…