Reformers have framed their narrative around the myth of “the bad teacher, without whom all children would make A’s in every subject every year. With this false narrative, they have promoted lengthy, tme-wasting evaluations to find and fire these academic frauds.

The narrative itself is the fraud. Like every profession, there are good and bad practitioners. Some teachers are excellent in some settings, not in others. We count on qualified administrators–not algorithms–to evaluate their staffs.

But now comes another reason to doubt the reformers’ narrative. A new study shows that the quality of teachers has been increasing over the past 15 years.

The abstract says:

“The relatively low status of teaching as a profession is often given as a factor contributing to the difficulty of recruiting teachers, the middling performance of American students on international assessments, and the well-documented decline in the relative academic ability of teachers through the 1990s. Since the turn of the 21st century, however, a number of federal, state, and local teacher accountability policies have been implemented toward improving teacher quality over the objections of some who argue the policies will decrease quality. In this article, we analyze 25 years of data on the academic ability of teachers in New York State and document that since 1999 the academic ability of both individuals certified and those entering teaching has steadily increased. These gains are widespread and have resulted in a substantial narrowing of the differences in teacher academic ability between high- and low-poverty schools and between White and minority teachers. We interpret these gains as evidence that the status of teaching is improving.”