Teacher Pay

Experiment: Connecting three books that I coincidentally read back-to-back-to-back I recently read three books completely disconnected in time, topic, and nature but I found a huge connection. The books are The Feminist Standpoint Theory Reader edited by Sandra Harding, The Twilight of Equality: Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics and the Attack on Democracy by Lisa Duggan and Politics, Markets, and…

Everyone is wrong AKA Everyone is right

Experiment: Explain the rightness/wrongness that we all live with. Something weird that results from moving overseas is the realization that one’s home country is right about a lot of things. But also, how much is right about the new country. And, how they’re both totally wrong about some things too. For example, something curious happened between the…

Should everything be useful?

Experiment: Explain something that not everyone believes. A little personal story to start. When I was in high school, it was required that I meet with my guidance counselor. I only remember two interactions with him; the time he recommended that I take “regular” geometry instead of “honors” geometry and when he asked me what kind…

The Myth of the One Hero Teacher

Experiment: Connect the media discourse to current events. About three years ago, I read this article from the Atlantic about how Hollywood movies are actually very right-wing leaning although it is usually assumed that Hollywood is fiercely left-wing. The movie industry is heavily controlled by unions, movies push the envelope in socially liberal ways, and Hollywood…

Why Grades Suck – Part 2

Experiment: Bring some analysis into a world that is usually unquestioned. This is part 2. Check out part 1 if you are interested in the data theory behind why I think grades suck. There are several incredibly important questions about grades that I feel are rarely discussed. Grading procedures are clearly defined for teachers, grades are…

Why Grades Suck – Part 1

Experiment: Bring some data theory into a world that is usually unquestioned. I know, I know, complaining about grades probably just means I couldn’t get good grades. Okay, that’s not too far from the truth, but more than anything, I ALWAYS have been annoyed at how useless grades seemed. From the time that I started…

Causality or Casualty?

Experiment: Write a blog post instead of a message on Facebook that no one will ever read. I follow the World Economic Forum on Facebook. They frequently post about education but only rarely do I agree with their analyses. Sometimes, I post angry responses, but that feels a bit like spitting into the wind. But…

Teacher evaluation continued

Experiment: Continue to write and try really hard not to cry. I wrote previously about some of the flaws of teacher evaluation. But it just didn’t seem right to leave the topic without mentioning some of the other research out there. Teacher evaluations based on observation are advertised a a system to keep teachers accountable and as…

Teacher Evaluation

Experiment: Write and don’t cry I’ll be totally honest; One of the reasons I left teaching was teacher evaluation based on observation. Or, at least, the personal effects of systems like teacher evaluation. Woods and Jeffrey (2002) conducted a significant study of the ways that teachers engaged in “identity work” in response to observation based…

High Trust versus Low Trust Accountability

Experiment: Explaining the different experiences possible under a single, umbrella term. As I began writing the series on distortion (check them out starting here), I received a lot of response from teachers. Interestingly, it was not just about the Hattie research, but often how Hattie’s research was embedded into forms of accountability. Although I’m not directly researching the effects…