EVANSTON, Ill. --- How much does teacher quality affect student outcomes? What traits do high-quality teachers have in common? How can schools attract the best teachers, and how can universities best prepare teachers?
Those issues will be addressed at An Inquiry Series dialogue -- "Teacher Quality: How Do Illinois Teachers Measure Up?" -- at 8 a.m. Sept. 19 at the Union League Club in Chicago. The event is sponsored by the Northwestern University School of Education and Social Policy and the Inner-City Teaching Corps.
Jennifer Presley, director of the Illinois Education Research Council (IERC), which has published two research reports on teacher quality, will speak on the distribution of teacher quality in Illinois. Michelle Reininger of the School of Education and Social Policy, who researches the dynamics of teacher labor markets, will address the importance of geography in the occupational decision making of teachers. Their presentations will be followed by a question-and-answer session.
IERC has identified six traits that comprise a teacher quality index. The research shows that all students -- regardless of income or demographics -- are affected by their teacher's ability. The most startling finding is that test scores for high-minority, high-poverty schools with higher-quality teachers were more than twice as high as similar schools with lower-quality teachers. Nearly 90 percent of Illinois' lowest-income schools placed in the ranks of poorest teacher quality, the council said.
Presley was the founding director of the IERC in 2001 and has more than 20 years' experience in education research and policy analysis. Reininger, a faculty fellow at Northwestern's Institute for Policy Research and a faculty member in the Learning Sciences program, is part of the research team for The Teacher Pathways Study -- an ambitious, multimillion-dollar research project and one of the first ongoing longitudinal studies of teacher preparation as related to teacher quality. She is also.
Inquiry is a series of breakfast dialogues for Chicago civic leaders who have a demonstrated interest in urban education issues. Each year Inquiry gathers a distinguished group of civic leaders to explore the most important issues affecting urban education reform.
The registration fee is $25. Registrations can be made online at https://www.123signup.com/servlet/SignUpMember?PG=1522823182300&P=1522823191153040300&Info.