A Correlation Between Poverty And Teachers
There exists a very strong correlation between academic performance and poverty. An achievement gap defined by socioeconomic status is undeniable. The relationship between poverty and teachers likewise highlights poverty's strong grip on education. Data from the National Center of Education Statistics in the United States provide a clue on how poverty further impacts basic education. Students who enroll in teaching schools often come from families of lower income.
|Above copied from the Atlantic's Rich Kids Study English|
Since the IEA's study includes teachers from the Philippines, a closer examination of the background of these teachers only adds fuel to the observed correlation between poverty and academic performance. Teachers in the Philippines, along those from other weak performers (Botswana, Chile and Georgia), have less books in their homes and have no access to a computer.
|Above copied from|
Policy, Practice, and Readiness to Teach Primary and Secondary Mathematics in 17 Countries
Findings from TEDS-M
In the above, the number of books and access to a computer at home can both be used as proxy indicators of socioeconomic status. The results above provide guidance on how to address problems in basic education in the Philippines. It is true that these are only correlations, but the information points out clearly where reforms should first be targeted. If most teachers are coming from poor families then it only becomes obvious that improvements in education must begin in schools attended by poor children. The strong grip of poverty on education works at various levels. It even comes with a vicious cycle. Not addressing achievement gaps due to socioeconomic status at the basic education level leads to less prepared teachers, and therefore further deterioration of an educational system.