Tuesday, December 9, 2008


there is a great article in the current New Yorker about how difficult it is to identify who will be a good teacher.  
"Eric Hanushek, an economist at Stanford, estimates that the students of a very bad teacher will learn, on average, half a year’s worth of material in one school year. The students in the class of a very good teacher will learn a year and a half’s worth of material. That difference amounts to a year’s worth of learning in a single year. Teacher effects dwarf school effects: your child is actually better off in a “bad” school with an excellent teacher than in an excellent school with a bad teacher. Teacher effects are also much stronger than class-size effects. You’d have to cut the average class almost in half to get the same boost that you’d get if you switched from an average teacher to a teacher in the eighty-fifth percentile. And remember that a good teacher costs as much as an average one, whereas halving class size would require that you build twice as many classrooms and hire twice as many teachers."
go read the article. it is definitely worth your time. after substitute teaching, albeit briefly, i can say you definitely see a difference in how teachers effect their students based on their performance and enthusiasm. with our country, hopefully, on the verge of some education reform this brings up an interesting point that will need to be discussed in any reform talks.
story via Boing Boing  

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