Sunday, July 1, 2012

Does Experience Matter? « Diane Ravitch's blog

Does Experience Matter? « Diane Ravitch's blog:

Does Experience Matter?

One of the axioms of corporate reform in education is that experience doesn’t matter. Also, they say, degrees don’t matter. Certification doesn’t matter. Nothing matters except “performance” or “results,” and these are defined as the “measurables,” the test scores. If a teacher can get students to produce higher test scores, he or she is a good teacher. If they can do it year after year, they are “great” teachers.
Reformers say that you can’t know in advance who the great teachers are. You have to collect the test scores for three or four years, and then you know who they are, and you give them a bonus. You also know who the “bad” teachers are, and you fire them.
But is it true that experience doesn’t matter? The reformers’ claim that teachers reach their peak performance by their third or fourth year, and they never get any better.
This could be taken in different ways. It might mean that teachers hit their stride in the third or fourth year, and