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View Diary: The Messy Question of Teacher Quality (94 comments)

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  •  I would argue... (5+ / 0-)

    ...that they've been marginalized for the reasons we saw on this thread: many folks have become convinced, like the commenter above that "inner city teachers are in it for the money" (gag) or like the diarist they are stroking their chin and looking at quantitative meaasures and going "These are the questions that have to be answered going forward" without a moment's real consideration of whether the numbers they are using reflect much of anything relating to the desired outcome.

    While I grew up surrounded by educators, I work in the software industry, and I'm keenly aware of how silver bullet fads move through both arenas.  Anytime you have hard to quantify outcomes, or a percentage of unavoidable disasters, there is a strong temptation to impose some numeric, nicely sifted metrics and pretend you understand the problems.  At that point, everything else you say can be about identifying with power and "the questions that have to be answered going forward".  

    The thing is, a couple of the more recent 'silver bullets' in the software industry have actually worked: while I don't buy into agile programming as a religionist, code review and intensive technical evaluations actually work, just as collaboration and deeper social context work in medicine and other fields.  But teachers are really isolated, and providing that context would cost a lot of money.  Turning them into vocational educators keyed to multiple choice tests is more rewarding for administrators, I think, and more lucrative and politically expedient.

    ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

    by jessical on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 04:55:07 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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