Saturday, February 12, 2011

"The Skillful Publicist" - Education Week

Sorry for any confusion.
The Education Week blog, with the whole article, can be found HERE. You will note that the paragraph below, from the article, was in quotation marks, and linked back to the Education Week blog.

The Education Week blog article was citing Montgomery County Public Schools' OWN review and evaluation performed by the Office of Shared Accountability. That evaluation can be found on the MCPS website, HERE.

The legitimate question whether MCPS students are getting value from the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on the Skillful Teacher program is my own.

The Skillful Publicist

......"Montgomery County’s own internal evaluations of Studying Skillful Teaching aren’t as positive. Although 3rd grade teachers and Alegebra I teachers who took the course are "more likely to teach mastery lessons and less likely to miss opportunities to positively impact student learning" than comparable teachers who did not (Merchlinsky, 2006, 2007), there were no effects on elementary reading and math test scores or algebra performance."

Remind me, again, how much money MCPS spends per year on "The Skillful Teacher." Is it worth it?


  1. Were attendance and transcience analyzed as well?

    It's ignorant to assume that student achievement would improve simply b/c a teacher has taken one class. At the high school level, students change from semester to semester. And even IF some students are anchored to a specific teacher for the entire year, the dynamics of the classroom change. But - as non-educators running this site - I highly doubt you understand how to structure a class (as in building rapport, having cognitive empathy, implementing differentiation strategies, etc.).

    Learning takes time, and not all learners hit milestones at the same time. As parents, you should be aware of that, as I'm sure your toddlers weren't all walking at 10 months.

    a word of advice - Stick to the facts and leave out your analysis.

  2. That was a quote from an Education Week blog, not something written by anyone on this blog.

    Click the link.

  3. This line - Remind me, again, how much money MCPS spends per year on "The Skillful Teacher." Is it worth it? - is from the blog?

  4. As you will see from the clarification, the "Analysis" you seem to object to is MCPS's Office of Shared Accountability's own "analysis." The logical question to follow, then, is whether the money we taxpayers are spending on "The Skillful Teacher" program is worth it. Maybe there's something better? Wouldn't it be worth it to find out?
    And, by the way, I understand about "implementing differentiation strategies." Funny: that the same "Office of Shared Accountabilty" found that differentiation strategies weren't being observed in the classrooms that the former learning center students transitioned into.

  5. I'm not disagreeing with the quantitative results of the study, but this evaluation brief by OSA, done in '07 and reviewed by skoolboy in '09, is "old" by today's standards.

    Based upon this old data, I am perplexed as to why you'd question the need to continue with this program (Remind me, again, how much money MCPS spends per year on "The Skillful Teacher." Is it worth it?). Surely in your studies, you've learned to appreciate qualitative research, too. In viewing teaching through your lens - from what I've read on your site, however, you seem to devalue our opinions as educators. Have you asked teachers what they gained from SSI and II - and in some cases OAT I and II?

    Implementing new strategies takes time, but this need for quick results only puts more pressure on teachers and on students. So results will not necessarily reflect the effort put into developing complex lessons that attempt to address the needs of all students.

    It's not always about the data. Have you forgotten that we're dealing with human beings who develop at different rates?

  6. Teachers? Aren't they the completely happy with everything people? They re-elected the exact same Board members, refusing to even consider any other candidates. They are the ones who would rather have $5,000 Promethean Boards in their classrooms than raises. But that is old news isn't it.

  7. @ anon 6:14

    All this drama over one question?

    Is it worth it?

    Answer the question. And then explain your connection.


  8. Qualitative research? Bring it on! We'd be glad to see actual RESEARCH of what works and what doesn't in MCPS! Instead, we get so-called "pilots" that are rolled out system wide before they are ever evaluated, money spent on technology with no evaluation...
    There isn't unlimited $$. Maybe we could be spending it on something else that would work better. Who is so invested in "Skillful Teacher" that they refuse to consider alternatives?
    And, by the way: my son didn't walk until he was over 18 months. So I think I already got that point that children develop at different rates. And learned it in my special education class at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in 1979. Please don't assume that parents don't know a little something about education.

  9. FAQ about "Skillful Teacher":


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