Characteristics of the Distribution of Teachers in Schools and Affirmative Action Policy
Author: Nachum Blass, Dimitri Romanov, Carmit Almasi, David Maagan, and Dan Scheinberg Policy Research

The policy of affirmative action in the field of education is expressed in the preferential treatment given to schools serving weaker students in the allocation of budgetary resources.

However, this policy does not try to influence directly the placement of teachers in weaker schools and areas, despite the accepted assessment of the influence of the quality of teachers on the educational attainment of students.

This paper examines the relationship between teacher characteristics and measures of the socio-economic characteristics of schools, in order to assess the extent to which the current distribution of teachers is in line with a policy of affirmative action.

Surprisingly, no marked differences in the quality of teachers were found between schools serving different student populations. Further, teachers in schools that serve stronger populations were not found to be more “expensive” to the system. In fact, the opposite was found to be true, indicating “affirmative preference” in this aspect of the allocation process. “Thus,” the authors conclude, “the major achievement gaps that persist between schools differing in the socio-economic characteristics of their students cannot be attributed to the seniority, education level and salaries of the teachers.”

This paper is available in Hebrew only.

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