Do Poorer Schools Mean Poorer History Teaching?

Historians in the News

A new study from the Department of Education suggests that students at the poorest schools were less likely to have a fully qualified history teacher at the head of their class.

This study analyzes how many history teachers held one of two qualifications—a degree in the field (or at least a minor in history) and a certification to teach social studies. The report draws on a large survey of more than 51,000 school teachers in the 1999–2000 academic year, using the proportion of students receiving subsidized meals as a marker of relative poverty at the school.

According to the study, just 44.9 percent of students in America's high schools were taught by a teacher who had either majored or minored in history as undergraduate (only 37.4 percent by teachers who had majored in history). For students at schools where less than 10 percent of the student population received some subsidy for their lunches, more than 52 percent were taught history by a teacher with a major or minor in the field. In comparison, almost 46 percent of the students at schools where more than half of the students received subsidized meals learned their history from a teacher with that kind of sustained study in the discipline. ...
Read entire article at Robert Townsend in AHA Perspectives

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