A study by Eric Hanushek claiming that having five “great teachers” in a row can overcome the student achievement gap is used by many school “reformers” to push for unhelpful changes like the elimination of teacher tenure, using value-added assessment for teacher evaluation, and implementing teacher merit pay.
Nicholas Kristof from The New York Times (who I generally like and respect, but he now joins his fellow columnist David Brooks as ones who tend to miss the boat when it comes to writing about education issues) is the latest to bring up this myth.
This “The Best..” list is going to be a very short one. You only have to read two posts to learn why this “great teachers in a row” idea is a myth, with no connection to reality.
The first is from Matthew Di Carlo at the Shanker Blog, who has written a brilliant response to Kristof’s column in his piece, How Many Teachers Does It Take To Close An Achievement Gap?
The second is The “three great teachers in a row” myth by Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post, who quotes extensively from Diane Ravitch.
Value Added — Scrutinizing The Most Widely Cited Study is by Gary Rubinstein.
I’d love to hear any additional suggestions.
Feedback is welcome.