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Two Must-Read Studies on Teachers


Over at Inside School Research, colleague Debra Viadero profiles a couple of must-read studies related to teachers.

One of them, by Marguerite Roza at the Center for Reinventing Public Education, suggests that it's well nigh impossible to keep class sizes the same, keep all teachers employed, and continue to give all teachers their contractual "step" raises in a budget downturn. Since most districts spend about 80 percent of their costs on personnel and fringe benefits, something's got to give, Roza argues. One solution is to trim teachers' salaries in order to keep all teachers employed.

In a second blog item, Debbie discusses some new findings related to "value added" models for judging the effectiveness of teachers. Since quite a few of the proposed criteria in the Race to the Top application nod in this direction, here's a way to learn about the latest caveats on these methodologies.


I'm really not stalking you but the thunderstorms won't let up so I'm chained to the computer.

At any rate, I agree that Rothstein's analysis of VAM is a "must read," but what do you see in Roza's opinion piece? I agree with Roza's suggestion, but expressing an opinion without providing any suggestions or information of how to get there isn't that valuable.

Roza, as usual, ignores the complexity. Just as she ignores Rothstein's research when spinning her theories of how teachers should be evaluated and assigned, and just as she ignores the legal and educational issues involved in teacher distribution, she ignores the legal issues with her latest musings. (check out footnote #18 and ask yourself if you would accept such sloppy "research" in a term paper.

I understand why corporations would fund Roza's PR releases, but Ed Week should not dignfy them with the label of "report" or refer to them as "must read." When the billionaire clears his throat, people will notice. But reporters should think more carefully about the way that they characterize these "studies."

Now if you want to charecterize this blog comment as a monumental breakthrough in Western Civilization's quest for knowledge, I'm cool with that.

So you're going ask teachers, who are already incredibly underpaid, to take a pay cut?

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