This excellent article by Maria Bustillos tears apart a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research that recommended firing swatchs of “weaker” teachers because students with “stronger” teachers earned a tiny bit more income per year on average. There’s a nice comparison of public schools here to more successful schools like public ones in Finland or military schools.
It isn’t healthy what we are doing to kids, smashing their curiosity and sense of play. Making everything about Achievement with a capital A. By high school they’re often facing four or six or more APs, SAT prep classes, plus sports, music, church, Boy Scouts, whatever. They don’t put this kind of pressure on kids in Finland, or even in American military schools, where they seem to understand that you take your last SAT in this world around age seventeen, after which point life begins to arrange itself along other lines entirely.