The supply of well-trained teachers who want to work in urban schools serving poor children is limited. The turnover is high. And, as a result, the outcome for students is often predictably inconsistent.
To try to address those issues, the Los Angeles Unified School District, the school of education at Cal State Dominguez Hills and the Los Angeles Educational Partnership are taking the training of teachers right to the campuses of six elementary schools just south of downtown.
"Our goal is to build stability in there, so that new people who come in feel more confident and competent," said Judy Johnson, associate director of the organization, a nonprofit group that raises money to increase the expertise of teachers.
About 20% of the teachers in Los Angeles County are working under emergency permits, meaning that they have not completed a state-required regimen of classes. The percentage is often much higher in schools serving minority children, and has been linked to lower performance on state academic tests.