Teacher Quality Gaps by Disability and Socioeconomic Status: Evidence from Los Angeles


While most students with disabilities (SWDs) receive instruction from general education teachers, little empirical work has investigated whether these students have suitable access to high-quality teachers. We explore the differences in teacher quality experienced by SWDs and students without disabilities (non-SWDs) in the Los Angeles Unified School District, examining how access varies within schools as well as across school-level disadvantage rates. We leverage several different indicators of teacher effectiveness for general education teachers who instruct both SWDs and non-SWDs. We find that SWDs are significantly more likely to have teachers with lower math value-added (-0.024 standard deviations) than their non-SWD peers and we find emerging gaps in teacher evaluation scores and exposure to novice teachers. In general, these gaps do not vary by school-level disadvantage.

Educational Researcher