Paul Sauberer
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http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2011/03/longhorns-17-ba...

So, which viewpoint is correct? Is the school performance of Wisconsin or Texas better?
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Kelsey Rinella
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The reasoning works (that Texas could be better in every racial category, while being worse overall), and the data about ACT/SAT scores is old enough that the people who use it are rightly reprimanded. There's more recent data available on dropout rates than the author says he could find, though, so he commits the same sin (though not as badly). I'm particularly concerned that this information was easily googled, and is on the NYT website (host of the very commentary he targets for criticism). So I don't feel as though I can entirely trust the author's claims without checking.

There's a lot of room for fudging, so I'm not confident about anything here. For example, NAEP inclusion only requires 85% participation and the author doesn't mention 12th grade performance. The narrative that teachers' unions improve education is very likely oversold or false, but I certainly hope a later poster will be better informed.
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Les Marshall
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Psauberer wrote:
http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2011/03/longhorns-17-ba...

So, which viewpoint is correct? Is the school performance of Wisconsin or Texas better?


The far better question is why hold the public teachers feet to the fire if we acknowledge that poor test performance is more related to low socioeconomic status on the part of the student? This was the whole problem with the "No child left behind" national testing rubric that sought to hold teachers accountable on without regards to the factors beyond their control.

Teaching to a standardized test is a poor goal which deemphasizes variances in learning and teaching styles. I have little doubt that both Texas and Wisconsin have devoted teaching communities which offer their students a great deal. How does one reliably teach an inner city student with challenges to nutrition, safety, educational home support.

Having been raised by a single parent primarily in apartments (in a safer time than this) I can only admire teachers that undertake the task. These comparisons are not really useful for the kids at all.
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Morgan Dontanville
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For me, it isn't an issue. I tip my waiter even if the food is bad, because it is a tough job and most of the time it isn't their fault if things go wrong.

Happy teachers encourage the kids that want to do better to come into their own. A great teacher will reveal channels that youths would otherwise not know about, and unearth the desire to become more than what they were. These things are often not measurable, but I'd bet that if you ask any self assessed successful person, they will easily point back to important teachers in their life that helped them to find the path to get where they are.
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I agree with you, sisteray, but I do think that performance has to be measured, and emphasis put on performance, even in teaching. But let the teachers do it. Teachers are not there for the money - they care about what they do. Let these educated professionals decide, with well-meaning outside input, how to evaluate their own. Let them come up with ways to weed out the incomeptants, the lazy, the broken. Meanwhile, reward those teachers who teach in socio-economically impoverished areas, don't punish them.
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Morgan Dontanville
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wolvendancer wrote:
I agree with you, sisteray, but I do think that performance has to be measured, and emphasis put on performance, even in teaching. But let the teachers do it. Teachers are not there for the money - they care about what they do. Let these educated professionals decide, with well-meaning outside input, how to evaluate their own. Let them come up with ways to weed out the incomeptants, the lazy, the broken. Meanwhile, reward those teachers who teach in socio-economically impoverished areas, don't punish them.


Well, it is important to have unbiased accountability.

The big problem we are facing right now is that who in their right mind would want to be a teacher when this is the way society is treating them.
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