Teacher education for high-poverty schools: keeping the bar high
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Contemporary Issues of Equity in Education
For some time now, there has been a focus, both in Australia and internationally, on quality teaching as a fundamental component that affects the educational outcomes of all students. The question of how teacher education programs in Australia prepare effective teachers to work across all school settings-including low-SES schools-has been elevated to national prominence by data from the 20 12 Programme for International Student Assessment (PIS A), which revealed a fall in Australian students' world ranking across Mathematics, Reading and Science. Education is commonly acknowledged as a "foundation capability" that improves a person's life chances, including employment prospects, and it is widely understood to be a "route out of disadvantage" (McLachlan, Gilfillan, and Gordon 20 13). The Australian Bureau of Statistics 201 1- 12 data suggest that around 2.6 million (11.8%) Australians currently live under the poverty line (Phillips et a!. 2012, 8). According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), despite the significant effects teachers have on student performance, disadvantaged schools are not always staffed with the highest quality teachers (see Darling-Hammond, 2006).