When Smart Academics Say Silly Things

Diane is pretty spot on. Occasionally, all of us make mistakes..but if you do make a mistake… make sure you correct it when moving forward.

Diane Ravitch's blog

A teacher in Nevada sent me this article, which was printed in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

He said he would have laughed at how clueless this Harvard professor was but for the fact that the local opinion makers no doubt would read it and take it seriously.

I started reading it and the first statement was that “The most important determinant of educational quality is teacher quality.”

I thought at once, that’s not true because economists agree that family has a much larger impact than teachers.

Also, he is making the mistake of assuming that “educational quality=test scores.”

Then the author, Edward Glaeser of Harvard, totally confused me by writing: “In an influential paper published in 2005, economists Steven Rivkin, Eric Hanushek and John Kain examined administrative data in Texas and found that 15 percent of the differences in students’ math scores were explained by variations in teacher quality.”


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