May 24, 2005

NEXT POST
On Getting and Keeping Effective Teachers In a yahoogroup on Metro Nashville Public Schoos (MNPS), I was asked about how I use the term "effective teacher", how I would keep them, and whether it really takes around 10 years for a teacher to reach his maximum effectiveness. The answer to the latter is that is what TVAAS data indicates, and, yes, I believe it. As for the rest, here's my response: How do I use "effective"? Basically, the 20% of teachers in Tennessee who get the highest TVAAS gains scores are what I call "highly effective". The 20% that get the lowest (including negative gains!) are highly ineffective. The rest are, effective, average, and ineffective. "Wait," you may be saying, "there's more to good teaching than test scores." Well, I could ask, what more? And why do you think it would not be reflected in test scores? But, the more powerful question is whether a person making that claim would be willing for her children to be squenced through a string of highly ineffective teachers. Sure would help with the triage problem. If you haven't read this: http://www.heartland.org/pdf/21803a.pdf I highly recommend it. One of the most important pieces of educational research in the last decade, and its results have been duplicated with different tests and underlying methodology. See http://www.shearonforschools.com/TVAAS.html for more information. As for the 10-year learning curve, three points: #1 -- How can we get new teachers a higher starting point on that curve? This is a question for teacher education programs and my understanding...
PREVIOUS POST
Parents & Schooling Overeducation is a great blog. So is Eric Mack Online. But two recent posts from these two great blogs highlight an interesting quesion: Whose kids are they? First, Eric. He and his wife homeschool their four children, and the 5-year-old just graduated from first grade and received a Palm IIIc as a gift from Mom & Dad. Eric's post is on what she does with it (and a mention of plans to integrate PDA's more into their teaching). Here's what she does: Games Handy dandy [digital] notepad Flash cards Bible & Memory verse flash cards Calendar Lists of important things to remember Grandma's phone number eBooks Catch that "Bible" stuff stuck in there? Well, Jonathan Kallay has been thinking about "What are Schools For?" He writes: Education, then, is about creating citizens who are fully capable of exercising their right to choose freely and resist coercion. Perhaps ironically, this includes compelling people to attain this freedom. Interestingly, this calls into question the 'libertarian' viewpoint that insists on parents' rights to decide what is best for their children. Setting aside their capacity to abuse or exploit their children, the parent-child relationship has coercive or choice-inhibiting tendencies; that is, parents are unable to give their children access to a limitless range of choices, because they are limited by their own knowledge and means, and also because they demand more of their children than they would have a right to expect of them merely as fellow citizens. This creates a gap wherein parents...

Recent Comments