Good Teachers Matter

This new paper on teacher effects that’s been making the rounds, it’s kind of a big deal.  New York Times writes it up. Two cautions on how far this is ready to go here and here.

109 Replies to “Good Teachers Matter”

  1. Also, Art $10,000 in the DC area can you your boy into DeMatha Catholic High School or your girl into Eilzabeth Seton High School for a year, allowing them to have 6~10 teachers and thus increase their earnings by $48,000 to $83,333.

  2. For David Rubenstein, hitting economic jackpot began with education

    Long before David M. Rubenstein became a billionaire, before he began donating millions to the National Zoo and millions more to help repair the Washington Monument, he was just a kid looking for a way out of his blue-collar neighborhood in Baltimore.

    “I realized that if you’re going to get somewhere in life, you’ve got to be able to communicate what you want,” said Rubenstein, 62. “So I tried very hard to learn how to be a speaker, how to write and talk intelligently, and also read a lot to learn as much about the world as possible.”

    Rubenstein went on to co-found the Carlyle Group, a global asset-management firm based in Washington. Since then, far more attention has been paid to how much money he makes and how much he gives away than on how he developed the drive and talent to succeed.

    So, as the nation’s political leaders wrangle over ways to create more economic opportunity, here’s how one man went about creating his own. Education is the key. For even if the country does become a place where “everybody gets a fair shot,” as President Obama likes to say, it won’t amount to much if you don’t know how to shoot.

    “I tended to do schoolwork by myself and didn’t need a lot of help,” Rubenstein recalled. “My parents would say, ‘If you work hard enough, you’ll figure it out yourself.’ ”

    Rubenstein did not receive the kind of education that addles the mind, where teachers “teach to the test” and students learn by rote, as happens in so many public schools. He learned to think for himself — and the teaching began at home.

    “I was fortunate to have a loving set of parents who were committed to my education,” Rubenstein said. “They wanted me to do well in school, and their approval meant a lot. When your parents tell you, ‘We are proud of you,’ and they tell the neighbors what a good job you did, that’s incentive.”

    Every single one of his teachers must have been great for him to become a billionaire.

  3. Last night I saw a wonderful movie about Temple Grandin,the autistic woman who overcame great challenges to become a renowned expert on animal behavior. In the movie it was so obvious that her parents, her teachers and Temple herself, were responsible for her exceptional accomplishment. I immediately googled her because I wanted to hear her speak. At Sarah Lawrence College she gave the most credit to her parents, but also mentioned teachers and other mentors. And of course she herself had an amazing determination to succeed and to overcome her handicaps. It reminded me of the gutsy and heroic Gabrielle Giffords.

    I believe that “everyone,” certainly all educated people, know that it takes a partnership among parents, teachers and students to educate a child. Sure there are exceptions but most of us need the help of parents and teachers to succeed. Why are people pretending otherwise? It can only hurt the poorest and the most uneducated among us because they might be tempted to look for others to do the work that they must do themselves. We might wish otherwise, but there are few good substitutes for Mom and Dad. And yes, ultimately the student himself (herself) must want to learn.

  4. Anyone wishing to engage in dishonesty can look to Michelle Rhee nee Johnson for guidance.
    I admire that way many are willing to look the other way and cut her a wide path that makes the tunnels at the Shasta dam look like straws.

    I took my (70) students from scoring at the 13th percentile in second grade to 90% at the 90th percentile at the end of 3rd grade.”
    I wonder if it was her failure to be successful with 7 of her students that made herself think that she wasn’t a good teacher and therefore should quit.

  5. Chris,

    How does one study science in a graduate program and become such a steady, impassioned voice for education improvement?

    When I did my graduate studies in physics and mathematics I was up against it 24-7 for three years. It was really tough. It pushed me to the edge of my intellectual endurance.

    I would like to offer, in the spirit of mathematics and physics an elegant solution to a seemingly intractable problem.

    1. Grant parents full freedom of choice in the schooling of their child through fully funded vouchers.

    2. Institute national board tests to assess student learning. Eliminate teacher grading.

    3. Grant to parents the full right to privacy of their choices regarding their child’s education.

    4. Eliminate the DOE and all state departments of education.

    Now, you can concentrate on your graduate studies.

    You are a talented guy. Stop wasting your time on this issue. It is much like the abortion debate.

  6. Phillip, it was a very simple question I asked you: Do you still think it was a valid criticism now that you’ve been corrected? Yes or no?

    And hurry, before your other personalities take the keyboard away again.

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