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Friday, December 18, 2020

CURMUDGUCATION: More Teacher Effectiveness Mirages

CURMUDGUCATION: More Teacher Effectiveness Mirages
More Teacher Effectiveness Mirages

 The Fordham Institution has a new report entitled "Teacher Effectiveness and Improvement in Charter and Traditional Public Schools." Despite what it claims to study, the report is a neear-perfect demonstration of Campbell's Law in action. 

The study starts with a question that, as used car salesmen put it, assumes the sale:

Study after study has found that urban charter schools, and non-profit charter networks in particular, tend to be more successful at boosting student achievement than traditional public schools in similar settings. But why?

We're not going to get bogged down in the details of this study, including this assertion that charter school superiority is a proven thing, because none of them matter when it comes to understanding why this study is fatally flawed.

The fleshed-out version of the question under study is this-- we know that more experienced teachers are generally better at their craft then newbies (an assertion that Fordham didn't make back in the days when they were part of the Let's Get Rid Of Teacher Job Protections crowd), but we also know that charters mostly have newbie teachers, so how is it that charters gets these superior results with fresh-out-the-wrapper staff?

The report was written by Matthew P. Steinberg (George Mason University) and Haisheng Yeng (U of Penn grad student). They worked from a pile of data from the PA department of education from between 2007 and 2017.

We could dig deeply into this report, but there's no reason to. All we really have to see is this CONTINUE READING: CURMUDGUCATION: More Teacher Effectiveness Mirages