VIDEO: Merit Pay, Teacher Pay, and Value Added Measures

Value added measures sound fair, but they are not. In this video Prof. Daniel Willingham describes six problems (some conceptual, some statistical) with evaluating teachers by comparing student achievement in the fall and in the spring.

Five School Reform Sound Bites That Hurt Teacher Buy-In

There is a growing assumption that education reformers are anti-teacher and teachers are anti-reform. Disagreements between these groups have become so heated and so public recently that this seems like a reasonable conclusion.

The real story is more complicated. Over the past year, I've had the chance to speak with many people in the education reform world. I have come to believe that most reformers became reformers for the same reasons that most teachers became teachers: a hope that we can provide a higher quality education to a greater number of children in a fairer and more equal way.

As a teacher, though, I share my colleagues' frustrations with some of reformers' catchiest feel-good phrases. Teachers are not so much against education reforms as we are downstream from them. We see the way well-meaning changes play out in our schools and classrooms, and often hear troubling subtexts in talking points that sound great on TV. Here are a few examples, along with tips on how to engage teachers in the real conversations that we should be having about these issues.

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