Matthew Di Carlo of the Albert Shanker Institute always applies a rigorous analysis to any study or report he reviews.
Here he looks at the methodological issues raised by the TNTP review of the DC reforms. Among his concerns: the teachers who responded to the TNTP survey were a non-random sample, and those who responded might be different from those who did not; in addition, the “evaluation” is based on only a single year of data. Di Carlo concludes that the study isn’t very interesting because of its flaws.
When Gary Rubinstein reviewed the same report, he made the sensible point that TFA and TNTP have been recruiting teachers for the DC schools since 2007, so one must wonder why so many of their own recruits are found to be ineffective.
Or is it the veteran teachers who are ineffective?
Linda Darling-Hammond once memorably said that you can’t ” fire your way to Finland,” and nothing in this study indicates otherwise.
In fact, it seems from both Matt and Gary’s analysis that the fastest way to be labeled “ineffective” is to teach in a high-poverty school, and the best assurance of a bonus is to teach in a low-poverty school.
To me, the fundamental problem with this “study” is that TNTP, as Matt notes, is an advocacy organization with a strong point of view, not a research organization known for dispassionate perspective.
I don’t see how anyone can take seriously the research claims of an organization with a clear self-interest as well as conflict of interest.
Let them advocate all they want, and they will. But please, media, recognize that they have a point of view and are not putting evidence-first.