kitchen table math, the sequel: I'm sure this will work

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I'm sure this will work

more from The Gadfly:

...[The Commission's] plan is to "require all teachers to produce student learning gains and receive positive principal or teacher peer review evaluations to meet the new definition of a Highly Qualified and Effective Teacher (HQET)."

what he said

Observe here the basic flaw in the Commission's approach: start with a sound instinct (gauging teachers' effectiveness by their impact on pupil achievement). Ignore how little is known for sure about reliable ways of doing this, especially at scale. Then pretend that the U.S. Department of Education is capable of (and has the clout to) shape and micromanage such complicated processes as vetting teacher performance from Washington. Along the way, neglect to undo the mistakes of NCLB, so that instructors must still meet the current law's paperwork-laden, credential-heavy "highly qualified teachers" requirements (which mostly serve to keep talented people out of the classroom) even if they do prove effective at boosting student achievement. The likely result? If past is prologue, Congress and the Education Department will muck up this entire enterprise, setting back a promising idea (evaluating teachers based on their impact on student learning) for a generation.

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