June 8, 2009

No one ever accused Arne Duncan of impersonating an education researcher

Hopefully some day we can track kids from pre-school to high-school and from high school to college and college to career. Hopefully we can track good kids to good teachers and good teachers to good colleges of education.

This was an excerpt from a speech Duncan gave today to IES staff about the need to use data warehouses to link individual teachers and test scores and then use that linkage to evaluate teachers (hat tip). Oh, yes, and do it based on research. Some day, Secretary Duncan, but tying an individual teacher to student performance is not something that you can assert is based on research available today. It is more wishful thinking than anything else. The best apparent on-the-ground research of this type with teacher education is nonetheless full of caveats. And that's on a program-level scale, not on the level of the teacher. 

I'd accuse Duncan of spouting fuzzy logic, but fuzzy logic (the real stuff, research-wise, using fuzzy sets) may be one tool we use to get out of this dilemma.

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Posted in Accountability Frankenstein on June 8, 2009 12:51 PM |