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The “Smell Test” & Education

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Corey Bower has written a good post on the issue of schools with high teacher turnover. He comments that there isn’t a whole lot of research out there documenting its impact on student learning, but suggests that in this case — and in other educational policy discussions — we start using the “smell test”:

Would you want your kids to attend a school with such a teaching force? Why or why not?

That sounds like good advice, especially for researchers who have the heads up in the clouds.

It reminds me of a similar “smell test” suggested by Marvin Marshall. He recommended that teachers evaluate themselves by asking this question:

If I were a student, would I want me as a teacher?

If yes, list the reasons.

If no, list the reasons.

Any other ideas for school-related “smell tests”?

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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