Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tautology Much?

RttT Guidelines:

In response to commenters’ concerns pertaining to “unproven” interventions in the Race to the Top program, there is ample evidence, for example, that high-performing charter schools can significantly improve the achievement of high-need students. Likewise, the research supports that effective teachers and principals are essential to improving student achievement; accordingly, the Department believes that identifying, recruiting, developing, and retaining effective teachers and school leaders is critical to creating high-performing schools and a world-class education system.

Given that they define "high performing schools" and "effective teachers and school leaders" as those that "improve student achievement," this isn't saying much. Anything really.

It is like saying "high performing abstinence programs substantially lower the rate of teen pregnancy among participants." Yes, but how many are "high performing" and do we know how, why, or how to make more?

And yes, that's the entire response to the substantive critiques over the lack of evidence for the efficacy of RttT's approach.

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