Wednesday, January 19, 2011

There are no stupid questions

Improving Teachers:
The Gates Foundation hopes that further research will see such reforms replicated elsewhere. In seven districts, including Hillsborough, the foundation is testing methods for measuring a good teacher. Researchers are trying to answer teachers’ questions about whether such a feat is possible—are observations biased, for example, and can one isolate a teacher’s effect on a students’ progress?
Well... Can one isolate a teacher's effect on a students' progress?

The answer is an echoing Is everybody listening? Wait... what was the question? How can we isolate students so we can determine a teacher's progress? Was that it? I can't find my notebook... I just had it.

Okay, here's the plan, really simple, you'll have no problem keeping up:

1) Put each unit student in a cage. A few non-negotiable cage requirements: light and sound should find this cage to be impregnable. Otherwise, design away... dare to dream.

2) Each student has only one keeper teacher. This is, quite obviously, essential. If more than one person has access to the cage dweller, how will we reliably and accurately attribute effect? Yes... I know, we couldn't. So remember... only one teacher.

See? Nice and easy. Finally, when crappy teachers are confronted about the !PROGRESS! of their students, their tired mantra — "Who? Oh... right, I think she's in my 3rd period" — will no longer fly.

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