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August 25, 2014

"Randi Goes Rogue: Three Secrets About Teacher Tenure And Seniority"

Amazing. But then I should expect it from the leader of the AFT.

On August 6, Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, was a guest on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” offering up the darndest faux factoid: “Most teachers right now in America have less than two years of experience.” You can watch it yourself: . . . 

In a 2011 report by the National Center for Education information titled, “Profile of Teachers in the U.S.” on page 19 they report that 74 percent of teachers have over five years experience. Meanwhile, data from the National Center for Education Statistics says that in the 2011-12 school year, only 9 percent had less than three years experience (the top data line). Or you could just think about the schools your children attend.


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Joe R.

While I have no qualms believing that Ms. Weingarten would tell a boldfaced lie on MSNBC, the question remains: How do we gauge teacher effectiveness?

I'm not a teacher nor served on a school board and haven't been a (real) student in over 30 years. But the claim that there's no good way to discover who is a good teacher intuitively sounds well-grounded.

Is this correct?


Good question. Since education is regarded as being VERY important, the obviously the answer is no, since otherwise we would be measuring on some sort of [possibly perceived] outcome and firing people.

For instance, while football is important, not many [well, too many, really] believe it is more important than education, yet we tend to fire football coaches based on outcomes [wins-losses] regardless of the school or resources [Compare Texas with Eastern Michigan University]. And we hire new coaches based on their previous won-lost stats.

If only there were some sort of result [or possibly a test, say] where we could compare how much students learn [I've heard that's what education is all about] then we could see at least the great teacher and the lousy ones, or at least the results of their efforts. If it were as important as football we would then pay the great ones more than the average ones and fire the 'bad' ones.

We don't do that, so obviously either we don't really value education or there is no way to measure how good teachers are.

Alternatively, perhaps teachers really are a commodity, much like computer chips, and the difference is in the students. Some students can learn and some just cant'. Places like Detroit, NYC, and D.C., for instance have all great teachers [none have been fired to speak of] or the teachers are exactly the same as in other districts around the country and the kids in Detroit, NYC, and D.C. are just unqualified to learn.



Clinton Legacy: Lies, Lies and more lies.

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