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PDQ: Pretty Darn Quick Blog

Parent Attitudes Towards Achievement

07/24/2007

According to a new study from two respected economists, Brian Jacob and Lars Lefgren, parents have very different views on what makes a good teacher, depending on their own social status. Parents with children enrolled in low-income schools think a teacher is doing a good job as long as their children appear to be learning. Wealthier parents take a more educationally complacent view. As long as their children appear happy, they assume the teacher is doing a good job.

The dissonant views come from a fusion of data based on parents request for particular teachers and principals' evaluations of teachers in 12 schools.

Also from the study: If a school is underperforming, the pattern doesn't hold up. Parents, wealthy or poor, then tend to request a more demanding teacher.

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