By Chuck Rogér
Would you enroll in a university program which practically guarantees a grade of “A” in most courses? Look no further. You might want to consider studying to be a teacher.
University of Missouri economics professor Cory Koedel has released a report showing that education school courses have generally low grading standards. “A” grades dominate many courses. In some classes, literally every student gets an A. Koedel finds that “a sizable fraction” of teachers “is trained in education departments where evaluation standards are astonishingly low.”
George Leef, director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, asks, “Why do the ed schools operate this way?” Leef reports that Koedel found that whereas a school that trains other professionals such as engineers “would rapidly destroy its reputation” by issuing all As, “in the field of education, which is ‘notoriously ineffective at identifying high- and low-quality workers,’ there is no penalty for easy grading.”
Because teachers’ unions relentlessly resist teacher performance measurement as a criterion for pay as well as continued employment itself, there is no way to measure the horrific effects that poorly-educated teachers have on the kids.
Now let’s be clear. Koedel’s findings are not an indictment of all teachers. There are very fine teachers who graduate from both inflated-grading schools and also very fine schools. But there’s a saying: “What gets measured gets improved.” A corollary would be, that which doesn’t get measured is likely to be ignored.