For children, for justice, for freedom
A 2008 study from the University of Texas shows that teacher quality continues to be in inequitably distributed across schools, with high-poverty, high-minority, and low-performing schools having much lower teacher quality than lower-poverty, low-minority, and high-performing schools.
Why Teachers Matter
Research has also pointed to the interaction between student and teacher as the most important determinant of successful learning. In particular, economist Ronald Ferguson in his 2007 book Toward Excellence with Equity wrote: "There is growing evidence that students are most motivated when teachers are strong on all three legs of the instructional tripod: content knowledge, pedagogic skills, and relationship skills...Teachers differ a great deal in their effectiveness. The evidence is clear that some teachers produce much larger achievement gains than others do and that differences in teacher effectiveness tend to persist from year to year in the absence of effective professional development."
Barbara Jordan Set the Example
As a University of Texas professor, Barbara Jordan was a "Master Teacher." She demonstrated "all three legs of the instructional tripod" and changed the lives of hundreds of students through her wisdom, experience, and charisma. The Barbara Jordan Master Teachers program seeks to expand this kind of teaching into the public schools. The objective is to encourage and enable teachers to devote their talents and energies to encourage disadvantaged children to excel in spite of their circumstances.