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Obama Seeks Better-Trained Teachers for Poor, Minorities

President Barack Obama said American grade-school students too often “are not getting the kind of education they need” and one problem is that poor school districts have the least experienced teachers.

“We want to make sure every child has access” to the best teachers, he said at a White House lunch today with a group of teachers and Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

The Obama administration has been attempting to narrow education gaps between the wealthy and the poor and minority school districts. Black and American Indian students are four times more likely than white students to be in a school with more than 20 percent first-year teachers, and Latino students are three times more likely, according to the Education Department.

“Access to great teachers has far-reaching, positive impacts and effects for students, including increased achievement levels, increased likelihood of college attendance and higher wages over their lifetime,” Duncan said at the White House before the event.

The U.S. government is asking states for “educator equity plans” by April of next year. The Education Department plans to spend $4.2 million to help states and districts develop and implement those plans for what the administration calls “high-need schools.”

The department also plans to publish “educator equity profiles” that identify “gaps in access to quality teaching for low-income and minority students” and how they can be overcome, according to the Education Department.

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