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Monday, July 6, 2015

Forty-four percent of Duval Teachers have less than five years experience. Who cares, not superintendent Vitti.

From Ed Week: The notion that teachers improve over their first three or so years in the classroom and plateau thereafter is deeply ingrained in K-12 policy discussions, coming up in debate after debate about pay, professional development, and teacher seniority, among other topics.
But findings from a handful of recently released studies are raising questions about that proposition. In fact, they suggest the average teacher's ability to boost student achievement increases for at least the first decade of his or her career—and likely longer.
Moreover, teachers' deepening experience appears to translate into other student benefits as well. One of the new studies, for example, links years on the job to declining rates of student absenteeism.
Although the studies raise numerous questions for follow-up, the researchers say it may be time to retire the received—and somewhat counterintuitive—wisdom that teachers can't or don't improve much after their first few years on the job.
"For some reason, you hear this all the time, from all sorts of people, Bill Gates on down," said John P. Papay, an assistant professor of education and economics at Brown University, in Providence, R.I. He is the co-author of one of two new studies on the topic. "But teacher quality is not something that's fixed. It does develop, and if you're making a decision about a teacher's career, you should be looking at that dynamic."

I have never heard a superintendent be so dismissive about the benefits of experience as superintendent Vitti has been. Maybe that is because he was only in a classroom for two years himself.

In an article in the Times Union he tells people not to worry about the 45 percent of teachers who have less than five years of experience.

Superintendent has also invested heavily in Teach for America which all but assures our neediest students will have a revolving door of neophyte teachers who like Vitti the vast majority of which will stay for just two years and that greatly exacerbates the problem, but hey so what, relax don't worry (sic) .

Experience is not the end all be all of education or most things but to casually dismiss its benefits is at best naive though I think a lot of veterans would have more choice words to describe those who would diminish its importance.

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