Monday, November 29, 2010

The Weekly Liv

Some more ed reform groupthink, courtesy of the echo chamber that is Liv Finne:
Last week Bill Gates and Arne Duncan, Obama's Secretary of Education, spoke in favor of re-examining the extra bump in salary states give to teachers who hold a masters degree. This bump amounts to $11,000 per teacher in Washington, totaling $330 million. The University of Washington's Center for Reinventing Public Education has convincingly shown that these masters degrees (90% of which are masters in education)confer no benefit on student learning. See Stretching the School Dollar, edited by Frederick Hess and Eric Osberg.
Oddly enough, I've read the book. It's a rehash of everything that's been said about education reform in the past few years, but let's go right to the section that Liv is talking about.

It's in Chapter 3, on page 90. It was written by Marguerite Roza, who interestingly also wrote the report about Masters degrees that Liv cites. To bolster the study, she sends you to read a chapter from a book written by the same person who wrote the study. Later on, the Roza study is cited again (chapter 5, page 145) and again in chapter 10 (page 273).

So cite the study, then cite the book that cites the study, then refer to a newspaper article that cites the study, too. Echo....echo....echo....

For good measure later on, Liv does her usual and takes things a bridge too far:
I wonder how many great teachers have left public education for private schools because of this demeaning and disrespectful pay scale.

Public school teachers deserve better treatment. They should get what private school teachers take for granted: pay based on their ability to increase student learning, as judged by someone who knows them best ---their school principal.
Yes, Liv, I'm sure that the private schools are rife with former public school teachers who just got so damned sick of the disrespect heaped on them by the salary schedule. By the way, what are those average salaries again?

Public School: $49,630
Private School: $39,690
That darn salary schedule is really holding the public school teachers down, innit?

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