I heard an interesting story on NPR's All Things Considered today (yes, I suppose you can tell a lot about a person by the radio she listens to, haha), about teacher training programs. It was titled, "Study Tries To Track Louisiana Teachers' Success" (click here to listen or read the transcript). Apparently, the study tracked student test scores and linked them to where those students' teachers had been educated. There were some interesting findings -- some teacher training programs appeared to result in higher test scores. But one of the problems was that when the teacher education was linked to lower test scores, there was no way to know WHY. There was no way to understand just what aspect of a college's teacher education program was lacking or might have contributed to the lower student achievement. In addition, while the results gave general info about teacher performance overall, the results were not tied to specific teachers -- there was no way to know which teachers needed some sort of intervention or remedial training.
Hmmmm, these are the same challenges that result from standardized testing of students...generalized scores vs. specific assessment of specific students, etc. Rather than improve our ways of assessing student learning, we're just pushing the same semi-useful tools further up the chain, to teachers.
I found the comments -- many from teachers and teacher educators -- on the NPR story as interesting as the story itself.
Part Two of the story will air tomorrow. I'l check it out and try to report back with a little more thought (sorry it's late and one of my resolutions is to try and get a LITTLE more sleep).
Welcome to Laurie Goodman's blog. I use this space to share news and opinions about education and schools in Ridgewood, the state of New Jersey and the nation, in addition to other issues I'm personally interested in. I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, questions or opinions, too, by posting comments on any blog entry. Please observe basic courtesy -- keep your comments focused on issues, no personal attacks or bullying, please. Contact me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org