Shocking? Research finds that teachers’ experience level matters
When a Colorado task force, the LEAD Compact, was convened in 2013 one of the questions that arose was the issue of teacher quality. A range of experts came in to speak to the group about the research that underlay one of the unspoken assumptions of the task force’s conveners and reform advocacy groups: that teachers gradually reach a plateau in their effectiveness after 3-5 years on the job; that there is little evidence that improvement continues after the first three years; and that on average, teachers with 20 years of experience are not much more effective than those with 5 years of experience.
This is the sort of research that reform organizations like The New Teacher Project disseminate and it has been used as the basis for many of recent educator quality reforms. It will be interesting to see what research-based reformers make of studies like these. I know that as a parent I care as much about these other types of outcomes as I do about test scores – especially because I know what a narrow range of outcomes tests measure.