"By our estimates from Texas schools, having an above average teacher for five years running can completely close the average gap between low-income students and others."-Steve Rivkin, Rick Hanushek, and John Kain (2005)"Having a top-quartile teacher rather than a bottom-quartile teacher four years in a row would be enough to close the black-white test score gap."-Robert Gordon, Tom Kane, and Doug Staiger (2006)"There are big differences in the amounts and kinds of learning that different teachers help produce....these effects are cumulative."- Kati Haycock, Education TrustIt's everyone's favorite sound bite: good teachers alone can close ...


Meet the Status Quo. It includes the Chairman of the Board of the NAACP (Julian Bond), the former president of the Urban League (Hugh Price), a Nobel prize winning economist and expert on early childhood interventions (Jim Heckman), some of the country's most distinguished experts on urban poverty (William Julius Wilson, Christopher Jencks) and educational accountability (Helen Ladd), a well-known professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School (T. Berry Brazelton), two former Surgeon Generals (Jocelyn Elders and Richard Carmona), Ernie Cortes (of the Industrial Areas Foundation), school practitioners like Debbie Meier, Ted Sizer, and Jim Comer who have spent their ...


Ken Frank is a statistician who teaches at Michigan State's College of Education. The release of the National Research Council report on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is a good time to profile his recently published article asking whether NBPTS certification affects the number of colleagues a teacher helps with instructional matters. His research team collected sociometric data from 47 elementary schools in two states. Teachers reported which teachers were helpful with instruction, and Frank and colleagues found that NBPTS certified were more likely to provide instructional help to their colleagues. He concluded:As a major reform in ...


Kevin Carey’s dismissal of “test score inflation” provides an ideal opportunity to talk about the book I finished this weekend, Measuring Up: What Educational Testing Really Tells Us, by Dan Koretz, a psychometrician at the Harvard Grad School of Education – hardly an opponent of testing.Koretz calls “test score inflation,” in which gains on tests used for accountability dramatically outpace gains on low stakes tests, the “dirty secret of high-stakes testing.” If you compare NAEP trends and state score trends, you’ll see that state scores have increased significantly more than NAEP scores since NCLB was adopted.To understand ...


It didn't take long for the blogosphere to use its heralded mind reading abilities to accuse the Broader/Bolder campaign of advancing reforms traditionally outside of the K-12 system at the expense of K-12 reform.Read the statement. It said no such thing. In fact, the report argues for continued school improvement efforts:To close achievement gaps, we need smaller classes in early grades for disadvantaged children; to attract high-quality teachers in hard-to-staff schools; improve teacher and school leadership training; make college preparatory curriculum accessible to all; and pay special attention to recent immigrants....


The potential effectiveness of NCLB has been seriously undermined, however, by its acceptance of the popular assumptions that bad schools are the major reason for low achievement, and that an academic program revolving around standards, testing, teacher training, and accountability can, in and of itself, offset the full impact of low socioeconomic status on achievement.-The Broader, Bolder Approach to Education Task Force ReportThis morning, more than 60 heavy hitters kicked off a campaign calling for a "broader, bolder approach to education policy." (You may have already seen the print ads in the Washington Post and NY Times.) Co-chaired by ...


At the end of last week, the UFT responded to the New Teacher Project report on ATRs in NYC. (If you missed the backstory, see Why You Should Read the Fine Print in the New Teacher Project Report, Why Buy the Teacher When You Can Have the Teaching for Free?, Tim Daly on the New Teacher Project report, and Joel Klein Blames Teachers for $4 Gas, Subprime Crisis).Though the NYT article was pretty vague, the UFT actually made six policy recommendations:1. The DOE should take a more pro-active role in placing ATRs, as the contract requires, by sending ...


In this Time article, Susan Neuman, who served as Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education during George W. Bush's first term, lets us in on her doubts about NCLB and the administration's missteps. Buried at the bottom of the article is a good reason to keep your eyes on the papers tomorrow:Neuman still supports school accountability and the much-maligned annual tests mandated by the law. But she now believes that the nation has to look beyond the schoolroom, if it wishes to leave no child behind. Along with 59 other top educators, policymakers and health officials, she's put ...


Providing shock and awe news on the gritty trespasses committed by teachers is a cottage industry. Now there are entire blogs committed to this enterprise, the most disgusting of which is Detention Slip. Rather than discussing these stories in a productive way, something that more astute observers have consistently done (See Scott McLeod on cell phone videos or Corey Bower on teachers losing their cool), the goal is to discredit teachers and public education in general.There are 3.2 million public school teachers in America. Even if one hundredth of one percent (.01%) of them did egregious things, we ...


No one expected that Graeme Frost, a 12-year old who suffered brain stem injuries in a car accident, would become a political target after he delivered a late September radio address in support of the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Commentators demurred that if a political party "send[s] a boy to do a man’s job, then the boy is fair game." The episode raised difficult questions over the role of children in political debate. Are they mini-protesters, learning the ropes of democracy, or simply political pawns?New York City is likely to encounter these thorny questions this week, ...


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