This paper provides information about the requirement of qualified teachers for minorities. The issue of the distribution of knowledgeable and highly skilled teachers is also discussed in this paper. The emphasis is made on the need of highly qualified teachers for minor students to get the equal educational opportunity.
Highly qualified teachers are essential for the academic growth of students. Unfortunately, minorities are not receiving high quality education. For example, in California, there are several schools in which number of minor students is very high. These schools are low-income schools. It is also found that approximately 40,000 teachers go to their respective classrooms without doing necessary lecture preparation (Shields et al. 2001).
As already known that highly qualified teachers are essential for student learning, there is a major threat towards to access of high quality education and thus the minor students are at greater risk to have equality educational opportunity (Wright, Horn, & Sanders, 1997)
California is the state in which the number of students is the maximum among all the states but it is ranked 38th when California is considered in terms of expenditures per student. It is also found that several under qualified teachers were employed in California in schools populated with minorities in 1990s because funding was very less for those schools. The California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC) found out in 1998 that
The gap in expenditures for education between the high-spending and low-spending school districts in our state . . . has risen to $4,480. . . . Perhaps the most disturbing part of this statewide picture is that many of the disparities noted above are consistently and pervasively related to the socioeconomic and racial-ethnic composition of the student bodies in school as well as the geographical location of schools.
That is, schools in our low socioeconomic communities as well as our neighborhoods with a predominance of Black and Latino families often have dilapidated facilities, few or inadequate science laboratories, teachers in secondary schools providing instruction in classes for which they have no credential, curriculum that is unimaginative and boring, and teachers who change schools yearly and lack the professional development to complement their teaching with new instructional strategies and materials. (CPEC, 1998, p. 29)
Distinct inequality in progressing in education can be seen in schools populated with majority of minor students. This is due to the employment of under qualified teachers. Minor students are at greater risk to grow. It is also found that most of the schools populated with high-density of minor students have under qualified teachers. In other words, under qualified teachers are employed most to the schools with high density of minor students (Rivkin, Hanushek, & Kain, 2000)
Whereas affluent schools do not possess a high number of under qualified teachers. Students with low socioeconomic status are more likely to have under qualified teachers and thus their academic achievements are also low. Pace (2000) did an analysis of this situation and stated: ‘‘Over the past six years, this relationship (between socio-economic measures and achievement scores) has strengthened, not diminished.’’
The United States is in great need of highly qualified teachers for minor students too to bring them forward in all the fields of life.
California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC). (1998, December). Toward a greater understanding of the state’s educational equity policies, programs, and practices (Commission Report 98-5). Sacramento: Author.
Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE). (2000). Crucial issues in California education 2000: Are the reform pieces fitting together? Berkeley: Author.
Rivkin, S. G., Hanushek, E. A., & Kain, J. F. (2000). Teachers, schools, and academic achievement (Working paper No. 6691). Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.
Shields, P. M., Humphrey, D. C., Wechsler, M. E., Riel, L. M., Tiffany-Morales, J., Woodworth, K., Youg, V. M., & Price, T. (2001). The status of the teaching profession 2001. Santa Cruz, CA: The Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning.
Wright, S. P., Horn, S. P., & Sanders, W. L. (1997). Teacher and classroom context effects on student achievement: Implications for teacher evaluation. Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education, 11, 57–67.
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