Bruce Baker Has a Problem with “Simple, Ignorant Solutions & Simulations”

Diane Ravitch's blog

A respected researcher recently pointed out to me that there is a vast divide between most economists of education–who devoutly believe (it seems) that whatever matters can be measured, and if it can’t be measured, it doesn’t matter–and education researchers, who tend to think about the real world of students and teachers.

Here is an excellent example of the divide.

Bruce Baker takes issue with the currently fashionable idea that education can be dramatically improved by identifying the “best” teachers, giving them larger classes, and getting rid of the loser teachers.

Or, as he puts it:

“The solution to all of our woes is simple and elegant. Just follow these steps.

Step 1: Identify “really great” teachers (using your best VAM or SGP) who happen to be currently teaching inefficiently small classes of 14 to 17 students.

Step 2: Re-assign to those “really great” teachers another 12 or so…

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