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

. . .a pupil attitude factor, which appears to have a stronger relationship to achievement than do all the “school” factors together, is the extent to which an individual feels that he has some control over his own destiny. James Coleman, 1966

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Not off to a promising start

Sent the NY Post, Feb. 15, 2011

The New Relay School of Education: Not Off to a Promising Start

The new Relay School of Education ("Charters get own education graduate schoool," Feb. 15) appears to demand hard evidence of effectiveness by graduates: They must show that the students they teach have increased their standardized test scores, known as "value-added" evaluation.

A number of studies show that value-added evaluations have serious problems: Different tests produce different value-added scores, and teachers' value-added ratings vary from year to year, sometimes quite a bit.

Also, it is possible to game the system and produce increases in test scores just by teaching test-taking strategies. Scores increase, but nobody learns anything.

Relay thus plans to grant Master's Degrees on the basis of an invalid measure, not a promising start for a new program.

Stephen Krashen


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