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Highly Effective Teachers of Vulnerable Students

Practice Transcending Theory


Edited By Mary Poplin and Claudia Bermudez

Highly Effective Teachers of Vulnerable Students contains the quintessential details of highly effective teachers working with students who live in poverty inside our public schools and community colleges. This book features the words and actions of the teachers that can inspire and direct any current or future teacher who wants to be great and be a part of inspiring young people to fulfill their potential. This is the grist we need to spark a reinvigorated critical national conversation about what it takes to really have highly effective teachers in low-income public schools and whether we have the moral courage to work as hard as they do to make educational equity a reality in our nation.

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13. Finding the Experts: Selection Criteria of Highly Effective Teachers (June K. Hilton)


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13. Finding the Experts: Selection Criteria of Highly Effective Teachers



According to Varlas (2009), “Research shows that teacher effectiveness is the single most important school-based factor in student success.” Identifying the behaviors and characteristics of not simply effective, but highly effective teachers will assist those in decision-making positions in determining how best to develop these traits in staff. In order to identify these characteristics, observations of teachers in high poverty schools who, over a three-year period of time, increased their students’ achievement well beyond their colleagues teaching similar students were conducted. The criteria used in all cases included increases on standardized achievement exams of one or more standard deviations above their colleagues. In an earlier study by Poplin and Rivera (2011) which occurred during the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) period, teachers were also chosen by the percentage of their students who increased a full level or more compared to their peers teaching similar students.

The highly effective K–12 teachers at 14 schools in three counties in the greater Los Angeles area were identified by central office staff and/or principals who provided names and emails of teachers whose students’ annual achievement gains on various standardized measures over the past three years had surpassed their colleagues teaching similar students as described above. Table 13.1 outlines the types of standardized data used in the process. ← 229 | 230 →

Table 13.1. Standardized...

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