U.S. teachers are smarter than you think, writes Jill Barshay on the Hechinger Report.
A 2010 McKinsey report spotlighted a “talent gap” in teaching. Almost half of new teachers come from the bottom third of SAT takers, said the report. By contrast, the “world’s top performing school systems draw teachers from the best and brightest.”
But new research argues that quality never dropped that low and is rebounding. A recently published “study of new teachers in New York state . . . found that at the worst point — in 1999 — almost 30 percent of new teachers came from the bottom third, as measured by SAT scores,” and 30 percent came from the top third, writes Barshay. Ten years later, more than 40 percent of new teachers scored in the top third and fewer than 20 percent in the bottom third.
A 2013 University of Washington study also found rising test scores for new teachers.
A Stanford study, not yet published, estimates the average SAT/ACT scores of a new teacher declined to the 42nd percentile in 2000 and rose to the 48th percentile by 2008.
Math scores rose strongly, while verbal scores increased slightly.
Back in 1993, the typical hire at a private elementary school had SAT scores that were 4 points higher than her or his public school counterpart. By 2008, they were 5 percentage points lower. . . . Private high school teachers continue to have higher SAT scores than public high school teachers.
It’s not clear why public schools have been able to hire teachers with stronger academic records.
Education Realist critiques a lack of quality in teacher quality reports.