Here is a “round-up” of the latest useful school reform posts and articles:
Choice schools not outperforming MPS is the headline of a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning Why School Vouchers Are A Bad Idea.
The misleading data and debate on class size is by Joanne Yatvin and appeared in The Washington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About How Class Size Does Matter.
Déjà vu all over again: A lesson from the history of school reform is by Mike Rose and appeared in The Washington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles Explaining Why Schools Should Not Be Run Like Businesses.
Michelle Rhee’s Cheating Scandal is by Dana Goldstein. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On How To Prepare For Standardized Tests (And Why They’re Bad).
‘Value-added’ teacher evaluations: L.A. Unified tackles a tough formula is from The Los Angeles Times. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The “Value-Added” Approach Towards Teacher Evaluation.
Thoughts on the Failure of Merit Pay is by Diane Ravitch. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning Why Teacher Merit Pay Is A Bad Idea.
I wrote this recently, and it seems relevant to share here:
…Something else that doesn’t make sense is the whole move to merit pay. It won’t work. As Daniel Pink says in this RSA Animate – Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us, about cash incentives:
“As long as the task involved only mechanical skill, bonuses worked as would be expected, the higher the pay, the better the performance… But once the task called for even rudimentary cognitive skill, a larger reward led to poorer performance.”
Don’t get me wrong, I think that teachers deserve good pay, (and they also, especially in the West, deserve greater appreciation), but merit pay is not one of the great guiding changes we need to see. Even the weakest of teachers I have met have had a desire to be better. The best teachers are always improving and humble about how much more they have to learn. They want to be paid fairly and appropriately, but what drives them is opportunities to be better… opportunities that they need to seek out because they are not embedded in most teachers’ typical schedules.
…The rest of the post is about embedding these things into a teacher’s schedule:
1. Time- Pro-D, preparation, planning & play
2. Co-teaching & collaboration opportunities
3. Models & Mentorship