Why we are needed
Four consecutive years of excellent teaching closes the achievement gap entirely.
Across the United States, only 70% of students who make it to senior year in our public high schools – the institutions we count on to prepare our nation’s youth for college or postsecondary training – actually graduate. In districts and schools with high concentrations of poverty, graduation rates are closer to 55%. Of those students, the majority fail to meet the minimum requirements to apply to a four-year college, and more than a quarter of entering college freshmen require at least one remedial course.
However, a landmark study, led by researcher Eric Hanushek at Stanford University, demonstrated four consecutive years of excellent teaching can close achievement gaps for students from low-income families entirely.
With frequent, highly-effective teacher training, this type of extraordinary, gap-closing teaching can occur in every classroom.
Additionally, a recent Harvard Study found "large positive effects of coaching on teachers’ instructional practice,” - gains greater than those classrooms in which the variable was class size of 10 or fewer students.
Teacher quality has an especially strong effect on poor student, and excellent teaching has a multiplier effect: Pairing a struggling teacher with an effective one helps both.