The District’s most affluent ward has more than four times as many “highly effective” public schoolteachers as its poorest, underscoring a problem endemic to urban school systems: Their best educators often do not serve the children who need them most, reports the Washington Post. The inequity is reflected in the distribution of teachers judged to be most effective under the school district’s rigorous new evaluation system, known as IMPACT. Just 5 percent of the 636 top performers work in Southeast Washington’s Ward 8, home to many of the city’s lowest-achieving schools and its highest concentration of children living in poverty. In contrast, 22 percent of the top-performing teachers are in affluent Ward 3 in Northwest Washington, home to some of the most successful and sought-after public schools. The area has eight fewer schools than Ward 8 and about 60 percent of Ward 8’s enrollment. The imbalance represents a significant challenge for Mayor-elect Vincent C. Gray (D) and interim Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson, who have pledged to continue the reform measures initiated by former chancellor Michelle A. Rhee. Research frequently cited by Rhee and her supporters suggests that low-achieving children who have three highly effective teachers in successive years can make dramatic academic gains…

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staff and wire services reports