On Monday, the Obama administration announced a new plan to make sure low-income students have access to quality teachers. While the No Child Left Behind Act previously mandated that states ensure poor and minority students receive instruction from high-caliber teachers, the mandate was never consistently enforced, and thus low-income children have continued to be taught in classrooms with less experienced and qualified teachers than their affluent peers.
President Barack Obama’s new initiative, titled “Excellent Educators For All,” seeks to ensure that states comply with the George W. Bush-era No Child Left Behind mandate by asking state officials to submit “comprehensive educator equity plans” that detail how states plan to put quality educators in classrooms with disadvantaged students. The Department of Education also plans to pour millions of dollars into a “Education Equity Support Network” and publish profiles of states and districts that have succeeded in promoting teacher equity.
Regardless of whether or not the new initiative succeeds, it’s clear the problem it seeks to correct is real and damaging. Below is a series of charts demonstrating that low-income and minority students often receive the short end of the stick when it comes to teacher quality.
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