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Ed Week Examines New SDP Findings

It's well-known that novice teachers are, on average, less effective at the very start of their careers and most likely to leave the profession in their first three years on the job. Yet the latest in a series indicators of school district effectiveness by Harvard University's Strategic Data Project at its Center for Education Policy Research show many districts do not know how to place and retain these teachers to help them succeed.

This morning, the project released analyses of the placement and retention patterns of novice mathematics teachers in Charlotte-Mecklenberg schools in North Carolina, Fort Worth schools in Texas, and Fulton and Gwinnett counties' schools in Georgia, from 2004-2005 to 2009-2010.

The study shows first-year teachers get thrown into the deep end. Across all four districts, which together serve more than 465,000 students, the researchers found new elementary teachers were assigned students who had performed .1 to .3 of a standard deviation below their peers who were assigned to teachers with four years of experience or more—meaning that these students were about three to nine months of schooling behind their classmates.

"Education leaders are probably not strategically planning to put their lowest-performing students with their least-experienced teachers, but that is the result we are finding," said Sarah Glover, the data project director, in a telephone briefing this morning with reporters.

To read more, please visit Education Week.


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