Re: Reforming Education

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Mon, 11 Oct 1999 13:09:46 -0500

John Clark wrote:
> 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.

> I'm sure the National Education Association would really hate this
> policy and that's pretty good evidence it's a good idea

I hate this policy. It's improperly controlled for good and bad students, whether you're teaching in the suburbs or some inner-city hell, and so on.

A better way to do it, as Crocker and I keep saying, would be to break up the system into modular components that could be more highly specialized and could integrate new methods in particular areas. Once the credentials are given by specialized credentialing organizations that compete for credibility with employers, then the teachers and schools can be credentialed by their own independent systems which would compete for credibility with parents.

           Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Running on BeOS           Typing in Dvorak          Programming with Patterns
Voting for Libertarians   Heading for Singularity   There Is A Better Way