Monday, January 5, 2009

How We Hire Teachers

In this fascinating New Yorker article (thanks, Mark), Malcolm Gladwell explores what's wrong with the way we hire teachers.
A group of researchers—Thomas J. Kane, an economist at Harvard’s school of education; Douglas Staiger, an economist at Dartmouth; and Robert Gordon, a policy analyst at the Center for American Progress—have investigated whether it helps to have a teacher who has earned a teaching certification or a master’s degree. Both are expensive, time-consuming credentials that almost every district expects teachers to acquire; neither makes a difference in the classroom.

1 comment:

mlutwa said...

One interesting thing in the blogosphere discussion of MG's article is how people see "the crisis in education" from such opposite ends. Either it's "we must learn to select & keep better teachers" or else it's "we must find a way to get rid of the bad teachers"...both of which lightly sidestep the act that our sum total of teachers is way too small.

In the theatre biz, we have approximately 1,000 times more qualified people than we have jobs. Then the film biz comes and scoops up the 1 out of a 1,000 of them that are really really good.

And 1 out of 1,000 of them make about 50 million dollars a year.

Maybe if we paid 100 teachers 10-50 millon dollares a year....