Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Do test scores make good teachers

Want to see a magic trick?

First distant authorities define good teachers as those who raise test scores, then they use test score gains to determine who's a good teacher.

Okay... it's not magic... it's called circular reasoning, and it's one of many logical fallacies that people commit when discussing education.

How do we fix this?

First, we must all understand that test scores likely tell us more about what the student brings to school than what they learn in school. In other words, test scores are influenced more by factors outside of the teachers control.

When it comes to test scores, the inconvenient truth is that, most of the time, good teachers are made by good students.

1 comment:

  1. That's not circular logic; that's the way a definition works. If we define a bird as a creature with a beak, wings, and feet, then it's fair to go out and use those criteria to determine which creatures are birds.

    I do agree, though, that it's a problematic definition.

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