That message is that the most important factor in a child’s education is the teacher. Having a good teacher is far more important than a high-tech classroom, for example.
The LA Times gets specific and names names. Some teachers have egg on their face. One of the examples given is for ‘John Smith’ which sounds like a pseudonym, but apparently is not.
From my new blog-crush, Marginal Revolution:
After a single year with teachers who ranked in the top 10% in effectiveness, students scored an average of 17 percentile points higher in English and 25 points higher in math than students whose teachers ranked in the bottom 10%. Students often backslid significantly in the classrooms of ineffective teachers, and thousands of students in the study had two or more ineffective teachers in a row…
I don’t blame the unions for being up in arms and I feel for the teachers, for some of them this is going to be a shock and an embarrassment. We cannot simultaneously claim, however, that teachers are vitally important for the future of our children and also that their effectiveness should not be measured. As systems like this become more common students will benefit enormously and so will teachers.