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

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Melinda Gates: High Test Scores Indicate Good Teaching Because Good Teachers Have High Test Scores

In the education universe of the testocratic technocrats, the world is a circular closed system that begins and ends with test scores.  Meanwhile, the insatiable Ouroboros of testing continues to eat on its own disgusting tail in an inextinguishable feast of unsavory diminishing returns.

And so welcome to this week's Education Nation, sponsored by Microsoft (creator of Windows) and University of Phoenix (creator of exploitative and worthless degrees for the poor who we deem without worth--except for their Pell Grant checks).

Anthony Cody has a good post yesterday on the Melinda interview with Education Nation's corporate emcee, Brian Williams.  Apparently, her script was provided by the psychometricians' Wizard of Oz, Bill Sanders, who also believes that high test scores indicate good teaching because good teachers have high test scores.  Here's how Richard Rothstein sums up the informational value of value-added, when it comes to telling us anything about improving teaching:
Value-added analysis does not claim to identify the characteristics of good teachers other than by a circular description--good teachers can raise student student achievement but teachers are defined as good if they raise student achievement (p. 66, Class and Schools . . .)

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