The logic of the exploding car and other reformy ideas.

One of my new favorite blogs is School Finance 101 by Dr. Bruce Baker.

Today he addresses some issues of reformy logic.

Take the case of value added assessment, which most objective researchers admit is loaded with error.

“Better than nothing,” goes reformy logic.

But Dr. Baker tells the story of the exploding car:

If we were in a society that still walked pretty much everywhere, and some tech genius invented a new cool thing – called the automobile – but the automobile would burst into a superheated fireball on every fifth start, I think I’d keep walking until they worked out that little kink. If they never worked out that little kink, I’d probably still be walking. I’ve written previously about how this relates to likely error rates in teacher dismissal (misclassifying truly effective teachers as ineffective) as would occur when using typical value-added modeling approaches.

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