Virtual School Meanderings

November 27, 2016

Worth A Read

A regular Sunday feature…

Worth A Read

New study shows variety in teachers’ influences on kids’ futures, and how poorly we measure that

Posted: 20 Nov 2016 09:00 PM PST

Meredith Kolodner summarizes recent research from Matthew Kraft and David Blazar. “Most teachers know from their own experience that running a successful classroom requires a number of different skills, including managing class activities, exercising discipline, keeping students engaged and teaching content to what is often a wide range of learners. Kraft and Blazar’s study gives some empirical evidence that these skills are distinct, and that teachers who master one of them don’t necessarily master the rest.”

Real Teacher Accountability

Posted: 19 Nov 2016 09:00 PM PST

Peter Greene discusses his own version of teacher accountability – how teachers can (and do) hold themselves accountable to their communities. “But the best accountability system for educators is still a strong relationship with the school community. It may not serve many needs of bureaucrats or policy wonks, but it serves the needs of the school, the community and the students. Build a formal digitized number-spewing accountability system if you must, but if relationships are not at its heart, you’ll end up with nothing but empty, useless, meaningless faux data.”

New Evidence On Teaching Quality And The Achievement Gap

Posted: 16 Nov 2016 09:00 PM PST

Matt Di Carlo discusses the ‘so-called ‘achievement gap’” and how it has persisted for generations. His blog focuses on a recent Mathematica Policy Research study that investigated the measurable differences in access to effective teaching in 26 districts. “So, to reiterate, this study does not support the idea that simply equalizing test-based effectiveness between teachers of higher and lower income students, within or between these 26 districts, would have a large aggregate impact insofar as access is already pretty much equal, on the whole. This also means that moving ‘effective’ teachers to higher poverty schools could actually create ‘reverse’ Effective Teaching Gaps.”

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