Yo Teach…! Or how to avoid teaching like Jason

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

*This post is taken from a paper I wrote for graduate school. I’m posting it because I’m interested in getting feedback from people who don’t spend their life in a university library. I apologize for the length, but I don’t have the time to make them shorter. 
It is an unfortunate irony that the attempts to improve children’s learning through major school reforms have often been stymied by the utter neglect and oversimplification of the unique and varied ways that teachers, as adults, learn best. The import of sustained teacher learning on student outcomes is clear both to any first year teacher comparing his or her students’ behavior to the more experienced teacher’s students next door as well as to economists looking at the effect of teacher experience—and time to learn from one’s mistakes–on academic outcomes (Hanushek, 2003). It can even be evidenced in the rubrics of most successful new teacher…

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(I apologize for the sassy tone below, but now that I’m in grad school I need a place to let out this side of me). I’m talking about Diane Ravitch and Eric Hanushek here. Actually, I can’t bring myself to talk about Diane Ravitch because the people who love to read her sweeping ad-hominem attacks…

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The New York Times has a story about the potentially deleterious effects of teacher turnover. Matt Yglesias, a fantastic blogger on economic issues and one of the best articulators of the pro-market progressive viewpoint, points out that we should really be asking how charter schools are able to produce comparable  results given their more inexperienced teachers, or in…

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I had the pleasure last night of meeting someone in the teachforus comments who was to my right on educational policy issues. The rarity of such an occasion speaks more to those who populate this website than to my own beliefs, which I would describe as disagreeably centrist. Matt, this commenter, challenged me in a…

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As I’ve said a few times, the only people who I really consider enemies in the education debates are those who willfully distort or ignore data to reinforce prior held beliefs. Sadly, I’m beginning to realize that even with that narrow definition, my list of allies grows slimmer by the day. I often respect Mike…

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In an initial take on the data from the new common core assessments in New York, Gary Rubinstein does something very interesting: He compares 2012 results with 2013 results for charter and public schools. Why is this so interesting? The common core assessments are supposedly test higher-order thinking skills. Therefore, schools that won accolades for…

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Paul Peterson, prolific and distinguished Harvard professor, has written a blog post discussing in more depth his WSJ Op-Ed on the apparent growth of the black-white achievement gap under President Obama, based a recent NAEP report discussing achievement gap trends from 1971 (in this circumstance, saying the more PC opportunity gap seems a little silly, but…

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In case you missed it, Florida schools’ chief  Tony Bennett resigned last week because when he was chief of Indiana’s schools, he changed the grade of a school (Christel House) run by strong financial supporters of his causes from a C to an A. Rick Hess interviews Bennet right after the scandal breaks. He initially…

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Before I discuss more comprehensively my critiques of market based school reforms, I thought I’d write about this new article in Education Next, written by Marc Holley, evaluation unit director at the Walton Family Foundation. The purpose of the study is to measure the effect of school choice on district schools. To do this,it performs…

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I went to Wesleyan University, a far left paradise where the number of conservatives could be counted on two hands (one for students, one for faculty). Naturally, in my first education policy class, we all went crazy about the horribleness of the voucher/privatization movement. But despite our talk, when the professor played the devil’s advocate,…

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