In the monumental quest to improve D.C. schools, officials are collecting tons of data. Here is a use of that information that might actually lead to genuine reforms: evaluating not just teachers but the college departments of education that trained those teachers:
A lesser-known result of such new systems is that they are generating mountains of data that school officials are starting to use to guide key decisions, aside from which teachers to fire or reward. For instance, by matching teachers’ ratings to the universities they attended, officials are deciding which pipelines deliver the best, or worst, talent.
“Now I know the average score of each teacher from each university. Over the coming years, we will be having conversations with these institutions, saying, ‘Here’s how your people are performing,’ ” said Kamras, who declined to say which colleges were doing well or poorly. “We’ll just stop taking graduates from institutions that aren’t producing effective teachers.”
Very often, it seems to me, teacher training programs at colleges and universities push experimental methods that don’t work, focus on theories that are not valid, do little to actually help new teachers to manage their classrooms, and are the source of many of the problems in education today. Am I wrong? Are some better than others? I’d like to hear from graduates of those programs.