Does Having A Staff of Brand-New Teachers Mean Student Success? In a word: NO.

Kaya Henderson testified at the City Council hearing yesterday that the new teachers who have been hired over the past four years (i.e., under the watch of Rhee and Henderson) are better than those whom they replaced (like me).

Does she have any evidence to back this up?

I doubt it.

My own research shows that there is essentially NO correlation between the median hire date of the staff at a school and the percentage of students at that school who were deemed “proficient” or “advanced” in math on the last DC-CAS of April 2011.

Look for yourself.


In case you are wondering ….

If having a brand-new staff was strongly correlated to higher scores, and having a veteran staff were likewise correlated with lower scores, then the graph would look something like this:

And if having veteran teachers guaranteed higher test scores, then the graph would look something like this:

That is, in the first hypothetical case, the overall slope of the data points would go up and to the right (and down to the left). In the second hypothetical case, the slope of the data points would be the opposite, i.e. from upper left to lower right.

Neither case holds water (all I did is delete some of the points).

Evidently, this much-vaunted churning of staff at most DC public schools has produced essentially NO good results. Just like everything else that the Chancellors have done.

Published in: on February 26, 2012 at 12:29 pm  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Was Henderson under oath when she made her statements? Did anyone ask for the data to back up her assertion.

    It seems like that would be an absolute requirement for full accountability.


  2. E and Guy.
    Here’s a great story from the Sunday.

    Amid a Federal Education Inquiry, an Unsettling Sight
    What was Arne Duncan doing sharing the stage with Michelle Rhee at a recent education conference?

    Mr. Duncan is the education secretary.

    Ms. Rhee was the chancellor of schools in Washington from 2007 to 2010.

    Since last summer, the Office of the Inspector General in Mr. Duncan’s department has been investigating whether Washington school officials cheated to raise test scores during Ms. Rhee’s tenure.

    You would think Mr. Duncan would want to keep Ms. Rhee at arm’s length during the investigation. And yet there they were, sitting side by side last month, two of four featured panelists at a conference in Washington about the use of education data.
    Here’s another highlight:
    Michael Casserly, director of the Council of Great City Schools, called the early news reports about Atlanta “badly misleading” and based on “very bogus analysis.” Kati Haycock, president of the Education Trust, a nonprofit student advocacy group, wrote that scores were being questioned because people wouldn’t believe that children of color could achieve.

    And the kicker:
    But the public is entitled to know. And school officials cannot be trusted to investigate themselves. Kaya Henderson, who was Ms. Rhee’s deputy and is now the chancellor, has called the cheating accusations “harmful” and “unfounded.”

    It will take courage for people to come forward and bear witness.

    So it is disheartening that federal officials have selected Ms. Henderson as a keynote speaker for a daylong conference on Tuesday that is sponsored by the department’s National Center for Education Statistics.

    It is billed as a “Testing Integrity Symposium.”


  3. And this
    Editorial: Cashing in on school stimulus
    On average, Brown discovered that in the 15 states that are tracking the money, $25 out of every $100 went to the consultants.

    Read more: Editorial: Cashing in on school stimulus – The Denver Post

    The investigative story here:


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