Emily Hanford


How Can We Identify "Good Teaching"?

Are student's results on standardized tests a reasonable way to measure if a teacher is good at his or her job?

The brawl over teachers and test scores in Los Angeles is generating a much-needed public conversation about the use of standardized tests to measure teaching. Another topic that needs more attention: What exactly is "good teaching"?

It’s a difficult and potentially volatile question because it begs much bigger questions: What is a good education? And what should children get out of school? In today’s data-driven culture, policy debates about education are narrowly focused on what can be measured: namely, how students do on standardized tests. This is why there is so much focus on using tests to evaluate teachers. Add to this that the most provocative and influential research about teacher quality is being done by economists, whose currency is stuff that can be measured and counted.

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