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

Saturday, September 06, 2014

OECD's Efficiency Zealots Say Cutting Teacher Pay and Raising Class Size Would Be Good Policy, But Don't Do It

For my academic friends who are engaged in a new revisionism to write out effects of a hundred years of social efficiency domination in education policy, you may want to have a look at this.

The OECD, the outfit that brings us PISA every so often, has taken to sub-contracting its nastier statistical tasks to other "research" firms.  The latest example is the Efficiency Index, contracted to a British firm, GEM, to use PISA data to wildly extrapolate, suggest, surmise, guess, and conclude on issues related to getting the biggest test score for the buck.

The lead researcher, Adam Still, is a former math major from Oxford who spent two years teaching math in the Brits' equivalent of TFA. Now he has moved on to use his learned ignorance and paternalistic arrogance to change the world to benefit billionaires.

Here's a clip from HuffPo that should give you a whiff of where this is coming from:

. . . . The report said that in order to become more efficient, the U.S. would need to increase class sizes and reduce teacher salaries. But in an interview with The Huffington Post, Still cautioned against the U.S. against taking that advice literally.
"We're not saying that the U.S. should cut salaries or should increase class sizes in order to improve quality -- it doesn't make common sense," he said. "We're saying these are things which can change, these are things which drive outcomes. … You have to explore within a country's context what are you doing or what are you not doing that allows or does not allow you to recruit the highest-quality teachers or train them effectively."
The Efficiency Index considered 63 educational inputs, but found that only these two factors -- class size and teacher pay -- "have a demonstrable impact on education outcomes" in PISA scores, the report said. And while teacher pay is linked to outcomes, underpaying or overpaying teachers could undermine efficiency, the report noted. Paying teachers too little could prevent great teachers from entering the classroom, but paying them too much could encourage complacency and poor performance. . . .

1 comment:

  1. From the "New Devils's Dictionary of Education Reform:"

    Productivity (n): the process of maximizing production and profits by paying fewer people less money to perform more work.