Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Qui custodiet magistri ludi? 

Here's a very skeptical article from MSNBC.com on whether the teacher quality measures legislated into NCLB are actually being enforced. It certainly isn't enforced consistently from state to state (to do so would have required federal oversight that even NCLB's strongest proponents wouldn't support, I think.)

Teachers can prove they know their content by passing a test or having a major in each subject they handle. But many teachers find those options unrealistic or demeaning.

So veteran teachers often qualify under a third option not available to new teachers � meeting a state standard of quality.

Many states use point systems to grade whether teachers are experts, giving credit for conferences attended or committees served on. Other factors include years in the classroom, teaching awards and job evaluations. Some states use gains in test scores by a teacher�s students; other say having a state license is simply good enough.

To teachers, the process is often confusing, burdensome and ill-focused. The law aims to make sure a math teacher knows math. But it does not measure a teacher�s devotion or ability to connect with students.
I agree with this, but to assess devotion and "ability to connect" requires some kind of review process. The question is always who is in the best position to perform the assessment?

My answer: Parents.

(h/t: Reader jw.)