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Read a Post for Why Teacher Quality is a Local Issue (And Why Race to the Top is a Misguided Flop)
 
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good message - but wrong argument

Posted By: Brett Lane on August 14, 2010
 
Jason - Your basic premise about teacher quality is pretty much on the mark. While there are likely a number of core competencies that most, if not all, can agree upon as part of the definition of an effective teacher, it is true that teaching is local, contextual, and require that teachers work as ethnographers.

That being said, your argument against the RTTP focus on teacher quality is flawed. In fact, you basic premise about teacher quality is actually an argument FOR RTTP.

RTTP and related SIG requirements do not specifically define what an effective teacher means; rather, they leave this up to the local state, district, and school. What RTTP does require is that districts and schools actually take care to articulate what it means to be an effective teacher (which could very well be locally defined) and then to MEASURE effective teaching as a means of improving instruction and ensuring that the kids that need the best teachers do actually get the best teachers.

There are many flaws with RTTP, but shining a light on teacher effectiveness isn't one of those flaws. Think about it.

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 good message - but wrong argument by Brett Lane on August 14, 2010
     
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