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Javier E

A New Measure for Classroom Quality - NYTimes.com - 84 views

  • Test scores are an inadequate proxy for quality because too many factors outside of the teachers’ control can influence student performance from year to year — or even from classroom to classroom during the same year.
  • there’s a far more direct approach: measuring the amount of time a teacher spends delivering relevant instruction — in other words, how much teaching a teacher actually gets done in a school day.
  • Thirty years ago two studies measured the amount of time teachers spent presenting instruction that matched the prescribed curriculum, at a level students could understand based on previous instruction. The studies found that some teachers were able to deliver as much as 14 more weeks a year of relevant instruction than their less efficient peers.
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  • There was no secret to their success: the efficient teachers hewed closely to the curriculum, maintained strict discipline and minimized non-instructional activities, like conducting unessential classroom business when they should have been focused on the curriculum.
  • A focus on relevant instructional time also implies several further reforms: Lengthening the school day, week and year; adopting a near-zero-tolerance policy for disruptive behavior, which classroom cameras would help police; increasing efforts to reduce tardiness and absenteeism; and providing as much supplementary and remedial tutoring (the most effective instructional model known) as possible.
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