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Highly Qualified Teachers & Paraprofessionals

Student Achievement and School Accountability Conference
October 2002

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TEACHER QUALITY, Does It Really Matter?

Good teaching lasts a lifetime - and bad teaching limits dreams and opportunities. Compelling evidence confirms what parents have always known: A teacher's mastery of the academic content of what he or she teaches is critical to engaging students and inspiring them to academic excellence.

For example, students in Tennessee with "highly qualified" teachers for three years in a row scored 50 percentage points higher on a test of math skills than those who had ineffective teachers.

SOURCE: W.L. Sanders & J.C. Rivers, Cumulative and Residual Effects of Teachers on Future Student Academic Achievement (Knoxville: University of Tennessee, 1996); and H. Jordan, R. Mendro & D. Weerasinghe, Teacher Effects on Longitudinal Student Achievement (paper presented at the CREATE annual meeting, 1997).