Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Education Myths, by Jay P. Greene

Education Myths: What Special Interest Groups Want You to Believe About Our Schools--And Why It Isn't So
Ok, I gotta admit that I wasn't able to finish this book. Its author is an incredibly good statistician...and an incredibly poor writer. There's nothing wrong with his punctuation or grammatical skills, it's just that he displays no ability to make his material interesting enough to hold my attention.

Here are a couple of quotes from the book that I found interesting, however:

"A review of studies...found that teachers holding master's degrees did not produce higher student performance (except for high school teachers with master's degrees in the subjects they taught, as opposed to degrees in education) and that among new teachers traditional certification makes no difference in student performance."

"...a large study of Teach for America, which lets recent college graduates become teachers without obtaining traditional credentials. They found that in one year, students taught by nontraditionally credentialled teachers made significantly greater gains in math (equivalent to an extra month of instruction) and kept pace in reading gains."

If you're looking for a really good statistics-based study of what's working and not working in the US educational system, this is it. If you want something more than that, try another author.

No comments: