Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Federal research report on rewarding quality teaching

Link here.

Quoted by Julia Gillard on the SBS Insight forum (transcript here). She is a right dill and my favourite IOTY candidate.

An expert stands and says, please don't create league tables for parents, their validity is seriously in question as variation between classrooms exceeds variation between schools. She consistently uses New York as an example (who has heard of a model school in New York)? Generally, even our worst schools are not at this level. A teacher, who has seen both schools in New York and Australia states to go the way of New York is the worst of mistakes.

A principal stands and pleads not to stigmatise schools.

Julia states again and again that she won't produce league tables yet the media states that they will use the data to do just that. She gently moves the discussion away from the failed curriculum direction given by government and places blame purely on schools. She agrees with anything that sounds positive and nods wisely yet continues with this destructive course of building league tables. We have enough problems with kids that think they are dumb, now we have whole schools that will be classed the worst (with kids that will take pride in being the worst). Gees, thanks Julia!

If she wants expert teachers in underperforming schools, will she also reward and recognise the experts that are already there or will they have to move to get recognition? It sounds like another rort to be exploited by the "look at me and how good I am brigade!" How will she produce the benchmark for existing performance (or should we act dumb and then make rapid improvement for financial reward?)

Can these experts transfer their knowledge across socio-economic sectors? Will expert teachers move between "like" schools (giving them some chance of success) and establish lasting programs, not just ones based on personality, material reliant on personal experience or quick fixes (such as teaching to the test)?


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