Re: Re Reforming education

Michael S. Lorrey (
Mon, 11 Oct 1999 16:10:33 -0400

Brian D Williams wrote:
> From: "John Clark" <>
> >I'm almost embarrassed to point out the obvious but the only way
> >to tell a good teacher from a bad one is to see how well they
> >teach. Have all students in a given grade take a standardized
> >test, this would really be a test of the teachers not the
> >students. Teachers with students in the top 20% would get a raise,
> >those in the top 5% would get a big raise, those in the top 1%
> >would get rich, those in the bottom 20% would get a pay cut ,
> >those in the bottom 5% would get a big pay cut and those in the
> >bottom 1% would get fired.
> This puts the onus on the teachers, instead of the students where
> it belongs, besides it won't work, the bell curve remember....
> teachers will have some students at both ends of the spectrum, with
> most in the middle. Teachers will also "teach to the test", also a
> bad idea. White upper class suburban schools will do better on
> average (as they do now) and teachers will refuse to work in
> schools they know to be bad....

If you limit the bell curve on which the teachers are evaluated to within the same school district, then I think you can eliminate socioeconomic bias. Of course it could be argued that the poor school districts already get the worst teachers, I mean, why would you teach in the inner cities unless you couldn't get a job anywhere safe in the suburbs or in the country?

I think it can be argued that this is already a contributor to poor performance of poor school districts. Did you know that of all professions requiring a four year bachelors degree, teachers had the lowest average SAT scores coming out of high school?

> Maybe hyperlearning is the answer, instead of grades, you identify
> reading level, lower level students receive extra classes, which
> means they have to stay in school longer, so they're motivated to
> learn. At the lowest levels, require the parents to come in for
> weekend classes with the kids..... The idea being to raise all
> students to a specific proficiency level.
> The good news is that hyperlearning systems are very cost effective
> as software...
> Give every kid a Thinkpad......

I've often thought that this would be a good idea, that the savings alone in the reduction of future prison populations (at $50,000 per year per convict) would more than pay this investment back.

> >I'm sure the National Education Association would really hate this
> >policy and that's pretty good evidence it's a good idea
> I'm sure they would hate it, but we disagree as to why....

Stupid is as union does....

Mike Lorrey