The following activities are designed to assist students and community members to investigate access to quality teachers.
A) Access to teachers with credentials.
1. Look up your school and determine the percentage of credentialed faculty at your school. Compare this percentage with the Los Angeles county and state averages of credentialed teachers. Here are some steps to help you find this information.
a) Go to Californias educational data web site at http://data1.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/.
b) Select the option "Staffing" in the "Subject" menu on the left side of the screen. Then select "School" under the "Level" menu and click on the submit button.
c) On the new screen, enter the first word of the school name and click on the submit button.
d) Select the correct school from the "Select Agency" menu. Then choose the "Teacher Credential and Experience Report" from the "Select Report" menu and click on the submit button.
e) Check your schools percentage of "credentialed" teachers and compare with the averages for Los Angeles County and the state of California.
2. Secondary students can determine how many of their teachers hold a California teaching credential. The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing offers this service on their web site. Go to https://teachercred.ctc.ca.gov/teachers/PublicSearchProxy, type in the name of the teacher, and the web site will provide information about the teachers credentials.
3. Does it matter whether teachers have credentials? Heres what leading researchers say:
"Fully prepared teachers are more effective in the classroom, and their students demonstrate larger achievement gains than students whose teachers are not fully prepared. Fully prepared teachers are more effective than unprepared teachers in knowing ho to guide and encourage individual student learning, knowing how to individualize student learning, how to plan productive lessons, and how to diagnose student problems." - Linda Darling-Hammond, 1992
To read more, visit: http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v8n1/
students whose teachers majored or minored in the subject they were teaching outperformed their peers by about 40% of a grade level in both math and science." -Findings of Wenglinsky, as cited in Kaplin & Owings
To read more, visit: http://www.nassp.org/news/bltn_tch_qul_stdnt_ach101.html
B) Defining Quality Teaching. Examine what "quality teaching" means in your school and community. Here are just a few possible activities:
1. Create and conduct a survey about quality teaching. Click here to see our sample survey. This survey was created by high school students at IDEAs summer seminar last July. We encourage you to create your own questions about quality teaching and conduct a survey in your school. Heres some steps you will want to follow:
a) Develop a set of questions for your survey. (Feel free to use any of the questions in our sample
b) Choose your sample. Who are you going to give the survey to?
c) Determine the time requirement. How long is your survey going to take and when are you going to give it?
d) Tabulate the survey. In other words, add up how many people answered each question a certain way. For a yes/no survey, add up how many "yes" and "no" responses for each question. If you are using a number scale, such as 1-5 as in our example survey, determine how many people marked "1", "2", "3", "4", and "5" for each question.
e) Interpret your results. What do the results from your survey mean? Write a summary of your
f) Send in your survey, results, and interpretation of findings to TCLA.
2. Create images of quality teaching by drawing, painting, or taking photographs that depict good teaching practices.
3. Write a classified advertisement describing the qualities of an ideal teacher. (This activity is ideal for primary students.)
4. Interview other students about what school conditions would attract them to enter the teaching profession.
5. Investigate the current teacher credential requirements at www.ctc.ca.gov and determine what additional or different requirements you feel teachers should satisfy.
6. Interview someone you admire about a teacher who made a difference in his/her life. One possible prompt: Tell the story of a teacher who has had a positive and powerful effect on you. How did this teacher connect the subject he/she taught you in a meaningful way?
C) Taking Action to Increase Access to Quality Teachers. We encourage students, parents, and teachers to share their ideas with powerbrokers and take action for change. Here are some possible starting points.
1. Ask different people to give an accounting for the problems that presently exist and what is being done to resolve these problems. In addition to asking questions directly to people on your site, we will pass on questions to the following individuals or organizations: LA County Office of Education Department of Teacher Recruitment; Local CSU or UC Teacher Education Director, District Superintendent and School Board, Local Teachers Union, Local Assemblyperson and State senator, Governor Davis.
2. Develop a petition that highlights the problem and a solution.