Blame the Teachers 2?

Back in July I addressed research that indicated that student performance is mostly (80%) due to environmental and cultural factors leaving only 20% due to teachers (13%) and schools (7%). Another study reported on by the author in the CommonWealth finds that “there is surprisingly little difference between the quality of teaching in so-called “good” schools (wealthy, suburban schools with high MCAS scores) and “bad” schools (inner-city schools with low scores) when the results are averaged across all teachers in the district and disaggregated by student demographics, specifically race and poverty.” The author, Edward Moscovitch, president of Cape Ann Economics and chairman of the Bay State Reading Institute, using the data from the study goes on to debunk most of the popular carrot and stick reforms being initiated as a result of federal pressure: merit pay, charter schools, and firing teachers.