Home Teachers and Teaching In Low-Income Schools, Parents Want Teachers Who Teach

In Low-Income Schools, Parents Want Teachers Who Teach

Recent government education policies frequently think academic achievement as measured by test scores could be the primary objective of public education. A first-rate example is the federal No Child Left Behind law, which requires schools to make almost all their students to “proficient” levels on math and reading tests by 2014. Many state accountability plans judge schools based on these tests alone, and a few states and faculty districts are thinking about tying teachers’ compensation to student test results. Yet education historically has served a variety of functions (e.g., socialization, civic training), and public support for music and art in college shows that parents value things beyond high test scores.

Are test scores the academic outcomes that oldsters value most? We tackle this by examining like teachers that folks get their elementary youngsters. We look for that, on average, parents strongly prefer teachers whom principals contact best in a position to promote student satisfaction, though parents also value teacher ability to improve student academics. These aggregate effects, however, mask striking differences across schools. Parents in high-poverty schools strongly value a teacher’s power to raise student achievement and peruse indifferent to student satisfaction. In wealthier schools the effects are reversed: parents most value a teacher’s opportunity to keep students happy.


This study combines data on teacher requests (by parents) and teacher evaluations (by principals) from 12 elementary schools inside of a midsized school district that inspired to remain anonymous, inside the western U . s .. The kids during the district are predominantly white (73 percent), but there is an acceptable amount of diversity concerning ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Roughly 35 percent in the white students qualify totally free or reduced-price lunch. Latino students, 84 percent who meet the criteria totally free or reduced-price lunch, comprise 21 percent from the student population. Achievement levels while in the district nearly match the common of the united states (49th percentile over the Stanford Achievement Test).

There isn’t an formal means of parents to request specific teachers during the district. Principals report that they assign students to classes with the eye toward balancing race, gender, and ability across classrooms throughout the same grade. Parents submit requests during the spring or summer, and principals make assignments over the summer. During our analysis period, roughly 22 percent of parents requested a tutor on a yearly basis and 79 percent of teachers received one parental request. Parents could ask that their kids not be placed by using a particular teacher (a “negative request”). Directly about 9 percent of teachers received any negative requests, and 92 percent of teachers with negative requests had one or more positive request at the same time. Principals are convinced that they are often capable to honor nearly all requests, giving parents an inducement to truthfully reveal their first preference.

Parents while in the district have the symptoms of strong and varied preferences for teachers. Those types of teachers receiving at least one request, the common quantity of requests was 6.2. Whereas the teacher within the 25th percentile received only 2 requests, the teacher along at the 75th percentile received 8 requests. Moreover, you’ll find often large differences regarding the most-requested and least-requested teacher from the same school, grade, and year: A typical difference is 7.4, plus 10 percent of grades, the visible difference is larger than 17.

Our data include specifics of requests suitable for the 2005