"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, January 03, 2011

Answering Arne Duncan, part 3

Answering Arne Duncan, part 3

Stephen Krashen

Comment posted on Washington Post website.

Original article at: Arne Duncan, School reform: A chance for bipartisan governing


Duncan thinks that "More and more, teachers, parents, and union and business leaders want a real definition of teacher effectiveness based on multiple measures, including student growth, principal observation and peer review."

No: More and more, Arne Duncan, Bill Gates and companies in the testing business want value-added standardized test scores (widely acknowledged to be inaccurate in evaluating teachers), and want to video-tape teachers to make sure they are focused on test/standards-related items in class. There are no teachers, union members, or parents marching in the streets and writing angry letters demanding new and more rigorous measures for teacher evaluation.

Most important: There is no evidence that there is a crisis in teacher quality, no evidence that teacher quality has declined. When we control for poverty, American students score at the top of the world on international comparisons.

The problem is poverty.

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