|The Teaching Channel on campus last summer filming one of Fairmont's great teachers in action.|
An article published by the New York Times on January 6th cited a recent study by Harvard and Columbia economists that shows highly effective teachers have a long-term impact on their students' success.
According to the study, students with great teachers are less likely to become pregnant as teenagers, more likely to attend college and earn more when they enter the workforce. The study is the largest look yet at the controversial “value-added ratings,” which measure the impact individual teachers have on student test scores.
“Everybody believes that teacher quality is very, very important,” says Eric A. Hanushek, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford and longtime researcher of education policy. “What this paper and other work has shown is that it’s probably more important than people think. That the variations or differences between really good and really bad teachers have lifelong impacts on children.”
Teachers unions argue that using test scores to determine teacher quality is harmful and misleading. Others say test scores are an objective measure of a teacher's effectiveness in the classroom and call for accountability. Regardless of your viewpoint, this study is groundbreaking in assigning a monetary value to poor, average and great teaching.
In my mind, and in the minds of many Fairmont parents, a great teacher is priceless!
Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools