Friday, October 1, 2010

Highly Qualified or Effective?

Mike Petrilli on Education Gadfly writes about HQT and how terrible it is:
Everyone knows it’s a meaningless designation. Nobody will defend its focus on paper credentials. The conversation has moved on to teacher “effectiveness” as measured by student learning and other meaningful indicators. Yet in the real world of real schools, HQT is still the law of the land, wreaking havoc every day. It continues to make teachers jump through unnecessary hoops. It continues to tie the hands of charter schools that have to demonstrate that their teachers have requisite “subject matter knowledge”—never mind the autonomy charters are supposed to receive. And now it’s causing material harm to Teach For America, one of the best things our education system has going.
Awesome. and Stupid. and Inconsistent.

HQT makes teachers hop or skip through low-lying hoops, like certification and demonstrating that you actually know what you are trying to teach. The praxis test is required. Not much more. The checkboxes for HQT are so incredibly easy to tick off that 93.8% of Vermont teachers are HQT. The obvious response is "You want to be a teacher. Teachers have paperwork. This is easy. Get over yourself."

Mike wants "teacher 'effectiveness' measured by student learning and other meaningful indicators." So, if I understand this, he wants the teachers' effectiveness measured by students taking a meaningless high-stakes test instead of the teachers taking a meaningful one. That's silly. The teachers should take the tests. After all, if they fail, it'll be their college professors' fault.

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