A succession of teachers who are ineffective will have an influence beyond the time your child spends in their classrooms. Teacher effects are “additive and cumulative.” The Tennessee Value Added Assessment System (TVAAS) tracked teachers and students to see if there was a pattern reflecting the effects of teacher competency within the student population. There was. The 1996 study tracked children in grades 3 to 5, and looked at low to high sequences. Researchers found,
“With an even start, the difference in these two extreme sequences resulted in a range of mean student percentiles in grade five of 52 to 54 points! [exclamation point in original]”5
The study said that effective teachers helped all students, but helped poor students most. Good students with poor teachers didn’t do well. The solution to the problem is to rate teachers and then ensure that students in the early grades who are taught by ineffective teachers are later taught by effective teachers.
Which leaves the students who had effective teachers in the early grades with . . .?
5. William L. Sanders and June C. Rivers, “Cumulative and Residual Effects of Teachers on Future Academic Achievement,” University of Tennessee Value-Added Research and Assessment Center, November 1996
Copyright 2006, Valerie Bonham Moon
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