Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thoughts on Improving Teacher Quality

I don't agree with everything in this article on education reform and improving teacher quality by Malcolm Gladwell, but it was thought provoking.

If you rank the countries of the world in terms of the academic performance of their schoolchildren, the U.S. is just below average, half a standard deviation below a clump of relatively high-performing countries like Canada and Belgium. According to Hanushek, the U.S. could close that gap simply by replacing the bottom six per cent to ten per cent of public-school teachers with teachers of average quality. After years of worrying about issues like school funding levels, class size, and curriculum design, many reformers have come to the conclusion that nothing matters more than finding people with the potential to be great teachers. But there’s a hitch: no one knows what a person with the potential to be a great teacher looks like.


desmoinesdem said...

I read that article--it was a good read and, as you say, thought-provoking. I don't know what to think about some of his points, because education policy is not my strong suit. But it is definitely worth a read.

noneed4thneed said...

I will write a follow up later, but my fear with pay for performance in education is that it will take all collaboration out of teacher. It will pit one teacher against another in each school because one class's test scores will be compared to the test scores of another class's.

To improve education we must increase collaboration between teachers, administrators, parents, and communities.