Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Blame a Teacher Day

E. D. Kain of Forbes magazine recently wrote an article in response to Matt Yglesias:
"Okay, for the sake of argument let’s accept each of Matt’s premises here. Let’s say that Last In, First Out and seniority and compensation schemes based on experience and education don’t make sense (even though much of this is unofficial practice in many other industries). Even accepting these premises I fail to see how implementing a complicated, controversial, financially burdensome and ultimately counterproductive testing regime is the correct answer to getting rid of the bad teachers while attracting good people to the profession.

Here is my alternative plan: make teaching fun and rewarding. Treat teachers as autonomous professionals and make teaching more exclusive....

Because Matt is right that teachers make a huge difference. He’s just wrong to suggest that we should make teaching a lousy profession that no-one with half a brain would want to join. Why would talented people want to subject themselves to a teaching job under the sort of conditions that Matt favors? “Accountability” and “value-added” schemes are not only bad at actually gauging teacher quality, they have the really awful side-effect of making teachers all teach to tests.

High-stakes standardized testing flies in the face of creative teaching and learning and everything that makes America great: our creativity, our individualism, our ingenuity and problem-solving. Instead we get Teaching By Rote 2.0 and a deeper entrenchment of the school-as-assembly-line model."

Read the Full Article: