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Study Says Teacher Quality Lacks in Poor Neighborhoods

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The Statesman's front page story this morning made quite a splash by contributing to a recurring narrative in Austin life: People on the East Side lack not only equality of condition, but equality of opportunity as well.

When it comes to teacher quality in the Austin school district, better ones are found out west, a study released Monday says. District administrators quickly panned the report, saying their own research shows that students are improving academically at equal rates across the district. The study was commissioned by the Association of Texas Professional Educators and conducted by Ed Fuller, a researcher with the University Council for Educational Administration.

KUT News has used Ed Fuller for several stories in the past, and we called him to get a copy of the study, which you can view below.  Fuller told KUT's Crystal Chavez that "in short, the schools that need the most qualified teachers are the least likely to have them."

"For example, in Austin ISD, the schools on the east side of town have lower teacher quality than the schools on the west side of town," Fuller said.

When reached for comment, AISD downplayed the study, saying Dr. Fuller focused too much on teacher qualification and not enough on improvements in student outcomes.  Last year, only one Austin ISD school failed to meet state standards, compared to eight the previous year.

ATPE 2010 Teacher Quality Study

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.