Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Message From Uncle Joel on Gates Teacher Quality Study

... and the wonderfully collaborative UFT. I can save them the money and predict the outcome. Just measure teacher quality based on test scores. And salary: lower = higher quality teaching. Joel uses his favorite expression, "research shows" without showing what the research is. Leonie Haimson asks:
"How much you want to bet that class size will be systematically excluded in this study, just as it was in the small schools evaluations funded by Gates?"

Dear Fools Who Sign Up For This Sham,

As you know, many factors contribute to student achievement.
But research shows that teachers can influence student learning more than anything else in a school. We know this, but we still do not have a full range of reliable and consistent methods for assessing effective teaching to use in our classrooms. That is why the Department of Education is collaborating with the United Federation of Teachers on a two-year research project called the Measures of Effective Teaching study. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the study seeks to develop fair, accurate, and useful tools to determine what really contributes to effective teaching and learning. Participation in the study is voluntary, but if you are eligible, I strongly encourage you to sign up.

Over the next two years, independent researchers will be studying classroom practices here and across the country using a broad array of measures including video observations, surveys, and student growth. The goal is to capture the full range of what teachers do, and how they affect student outcomes, in order to create multiple measures of effective teaching.

You can learn more about the study and find out if you’re eligible to participate by clicking here. If you are eligible, you should complete the Principal Interest Form. You need to fill out this form to ensure that your school will be considered. Later this week, teachers will be invited to complete a similar form. The deadline to submit forms is October 22. If you are selected to participate, your school will receive $1,500 over the two years of the study, and each participating teacher will also receive $1,500.

We know that teachers teach best when they understand what’s expected of them, know how best to reach their goals, and feel assured that no single, snapshot measure will determine the course of their careers. That, and improving the likelihood of success for our students, is what this project is all about.

Joel I. Klein

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