Math Nerd

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Sep 23 2012

Direct Instruction FTW

Teachers at New Dorp High School in Staten Island improved student achievement by explicitly teaching basic writing skills in every subject.

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When I told my family I was doing some research on using quantitative data to evaluate teachers, my father-in-law, a doctor, told the following story (I’m paraphrasing): “They use formulas in medicine, too. It’s so unfair! Medicare dinged our hospital because our 30-day readmission rate for heart attack patients was too high. We had to…

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While I was reading about VAM last week, I came across Jesse Rothstein’s harsh criticism of the MET Project’s Learning About Teaching. It was the first academic criticism I had seen of a VAM study, so I decided to dig into both the original MET report and his review. The MET Paper: Background The MET…

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Sep 14 2012

More about Value-Added Measurements

A response to Gary Rubinstein’s post on value-added. * * * Gary, I can see why you would be worried that policymakers and the media have overstated the usefulness of one-year VAM scores in teacher evaluations, but it’s still not clear to me why you don’t find the Chetty results, which suggest that accurate VAM…

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Dec 13 2011

New York Times Op-Ed Frustration

I read the New York Times a lot, and naturally I pay special attention when the Times publishes articles on education reform.  Today’s article, the op-ed “The Unaddressed Link Between Poverty and Education”, had me upset all day.  Its authors, Helen F. Ladd and Edward B. Fiske, make the argument that we should address poverty,…

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I was accepted to TFA last fall, but I’m not yet teaching. This is my first post.

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