Thursday, February 17, 2011

What is the value of a good teacher?

What a time we live in! Colorado just announced their educational cuts for next year. (see Denver Post)

But if you want to hear an interesting discussion on how teachers can measure their success - listen to a recent podcast from NPR's Planet Money's What is a teacher worth.  In it, he talks about how good teachers help kids be successful and then these students positively influence the gross national product.

The study highlighted in the podcast come from Eric Hanushek where he found that some teachers consistently produce higher performing students than their counterparts. These students then go on to be more productive and they earn systematically more money over their lifetime. These higher achieving student earnings result in an increased gross national product. The podcast takes the formula a bit further saying that a teacher with a class of 25 students that moves their students forward (in achievement)  is worth over 1/2 million dollars every year (in terms of added value to the economy).

If we know this why are we even considering increasing course loads or increasing class sizes as Bud the Teacher notes in his blog? In the long term aren't we just making the problem worse? There has to be a better way!

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