The support gap: New teachers' early experiences in high-income and low-income schools

Main Article Content

Abstract

In this article, the authors consider three sources of support for new teachers—hiring practices, relationships with colleagues, and curriculum—all found in earlier research to influence new teachers’ satisfaction with their work, their sense of success with students, and their eventual retention in their job. They find that a "support gap" exists: new teachers in low-income schools are less likely than their counterparts in high-income schools to experience timely and information-rich hiring, to benefit from mentoring and support by experienced colleagues, and to have a curriculum that is complete and aligned with state standards, yet flexible for use in the classroom. Such patterns of difference between high-income and lowincome schools warrant careful consideration because they reveal broad patterns of inequity, which can have severe consequences for low-income students. Survey data for this study were collected from random samples of teachers in five states. One survey, focusing on hiring practices and teachers’ relationships with colleagues, was administered to 374 first-year and secondyear teachers in Florida, Massachusetts, and Michigan. A second survey, focusing on curriculum, was administered to 295 second-year elementary school teachers in Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Washington. The inequitable patterns of support for teachers reported here have important implications for the work of state policymakers, school district administrators, and principals. The authors describe these and offer recommendations for policy and practice in the conclusion.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Johnson, S. M. ., Kardos, S. M. ., Kauffman, D., Liu, E., & Donaldson, M. L. . (2004). The support gap: New teachers’ early experiences in high-income and low-income schools. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 12, 61. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v12n61.2004
Section
Articles
Author Biographies

Susan Moore Johnson, Harvard University

Susan Moore Johnson is the Pforzheimer Professor of Teaching and Learning and Director of the Project on the Next Generation of Teachers at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Johnson studies and teaches about teacher policy, organizational change, and administrative practice. From 1993-1999, Johnson served as Academic Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is the author of many published articles and four books: Teacher Unions in Schools (Temple University Press, 1984), Teachers at Work (Basic Books, 1990), Leading to Change: The Challenge of the New Superintendency (Jossey-Bass, 1996), and, with the Project on the Next Generation of Teachers, Finders and Keepers: Helping New Teachers Survive and Thrive in Our Schools (Jossey-Bass, 2004). Johnson is a member of the National Academy of Education.

Susan M. Kardos, Brandeis University

Susan M. Kardos is the Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Education at the Mandel Center at Brandeis University and a research affiliate of the Project on the Next Generation of Teachers. A former elementary and middle school teacher, Kardos studies education policy, new teacher induction and retention, professional culture and the organization of schools, school leadership, and mentoring. She is co-author of Finders and Keepers: Helping New Teachers Survive and Thrive in Our Schools (Jossey-Bass, 2004) and has published articles about new teacher support and induction, including “Counting on Colleagues: New Teachers Encounter the Professional Culture of Their Schools” in Educational Administration Quarterly. Kardos is also author of “Clandestine Schooling and Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto,” published in the Spring 2002 issue of the Harvard Educational Review.

David Kauffman, Harvard University

David Kauffman is Elementary Programs Supervisor in the Austin Independent School District and an advanced doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. A former classroom teacher, Kauffman studies curriculum, teachers’ professional development, school leadership, and education policy. He has also consulted as a whole school improvement coach for a Boston public school and conducted federal education policy research in Washington, DC. He is co-author of Finders and Keepers: Helping New Teachers Survive and Thrive in Our Schools (Jossey-Bass, 2004) and other articles about new teachers and curriculum, including “Lost at Sea: New Teachers Experiences with Curriculum and Assessment” in Teachers College Record.

Edward Liu, Rutgers University

Edward Liu is assistant professor of educational administration at Rutgers University and a research affiliate of the Project on the Generation of Teachers. A former high school history teacher and director of a nonprofit educational program for low-income middle school students, Liu studies teacher hiring and retention, schools as organizations, leadership, and education policy. He is co-author of Finders and Keepers: Helping New Teachers Survive and Thrive in Our Schools (Jossey-Bass, 2004), as well as a number of scholarly articles on new teachers’ experiences in schools. His latest article, “New Teachers and the Massachusetts Signing Bonus: The Limits of Inducements,” is forthcoming in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. Liu is also a former co-chair of the Harvard Educational Review’s editorial board.

Morgaen L. Donaldson, Harvard University

Morgaen Donaldson is a Research Assistant at the Project on the Next Generation of Teachers and an advanced doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has taught in a variety of settings and was a founding teacher of the Boston Arts Academy. She studies new teachers, mid-career entrants to teaching, and collegial exchange within diverse school faculties. She is co-editor of Reflections of First-Year Teachers on School Culture: Questions, Hopes, and Challenges (Jossey-Bass, 1999) and co-author of Finders and Keepers: Helping New Teachers Survive and Thrive in Our Schools (Jossey-Bass, 2004). Donaldson is an editor of the Harvard Educational Review.