Thursday, April 08, 2010

What if the Data Shows Teacher Quality ISN'T the Problem?

Robert Pondiscio on Eric Hanushek and Steven Rivkin's finding that it’s the weaker teachers who tend to leave underperfoming schools:

I also wonder what this study means for champions of performance pay. The logic of merit pay suggests successful teachers need an incentive to stay put. The study suggests they’re already doing so.


One has to think that in the medium term we are going to get better data about what actually happens in schools, and in the process, many of the naive assumptions of the reformers currently pushing for better data will be overturned. "Good" teachers will be moved into "bad" schools and become "bad" teachers. Then what?


Robert Pondiscio said...

Reformers will conclude that they have low expectations of their new students and that they really weren't so good after all.

Wanna bet?

Tom Hoffman said...

I'd lean more toward "Reformers conclude that the low-performing schools are inherently toxic and replace them with charters."

Actually, we're pretty close to there already.

Stephen Downes said...

> Then what?

Then you come up with a new set of explanations showing that it's the teachers' fault. Anything other than to address the real issues.