Friday, March 18, 2011

Pravda on Portland Avenue

Over the past week or two there have been three op-eds in the Star Tribune bashing teachers. Here's some of what they said:

Vallay Varro, head of MinnCAN:
Decades of research have confirmed that teachers matter more to student success than anything else.
David C. Olson, president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce:
The quality of teachers, second to parents, is the top predictor of student success.  
Peter Hutchinson, president of the Bush Foundation:
When it comes to increasing the learning of all students and closing achievement gaps, nothing in school matters more than the effectiveness of teachers.
One thing worse than the writing on the Strib op-ed page by education deformers is the sheer repetition of the attack. Oh yeah, and the lack of facts. We get it already, Scott Gillespie and Doug Tice - you think teachers suck. You can tell all the lies you want about teachers - without once giving the podium to someone who either knows what they are talking about or actually cares about education, not class-war against unionized teachers.  But can you at least occasionally come up with some new lies?

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For the record: The number one predictor of student achievement is family income, not the "quality" of parents - whatever that means. Even within schools the teacher is NOT the most important factor in achievement. At most teacher influence is equal to the quality of the school itself. Of course those numbers are from peer-reviewed social science research, not pulled out of the ass of some plutocrat, so you'll never read about them in the Strib.

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