What do you think of this list from the St Pete Times that shows the results by school, teacher and subject on AP tests? I found it pretty interesting. These are two of the biggest counties in the Tampa Bay area and two of the largest school districts in the United States. Of course this only shows the results of AP tests, which are elective, but I find some of the results intriguing, especially when the same subject is taught by two different teachers at the same school.
Here’s a link directly to the complete article.
An example at the school my daughter would like to attend next year.
Teacher A - AP Calculus AB 29 students tested 10 passed 34% success
Teacher C - AP Calculus AB 15 students tested 15 passed 100% success
Now, it could be that Teacher A is better at presenting the material in an effective manner to pass the test. Or, it could be that Teacher A encourages all of her students to take the test, while Teacher B coaches only those she feels are ready to take the test.
A more extreme example:
Teacher D - AP World Hist 38 students tested 1 passed 3% success
Teacher K - AP World Hist 49 students tested 37 passed 76% success
In the above example, these are teachers at different schools. Teacher D works at an IB magnet school. Most, if not all, of the students in her class are likely to be IB students. They may not be as concerned with the AP tests as the kids at the kids at the other school, which is just a “regular” school. It’s also possible that they take these courses in different years at each of these schools.
Some questions to discuss:
- Do you think this kind of information should be publicly available?
- Do you think that any useful conclusions could be drawn by the data? Would it differ if it were a single point in time or over a period of time?
- If your child were a student in one of the schools, would it affect how you dealt with the school - for example, try to get your child into one of the more effective teacher’s classes?
- Should there be merit pay for those teachers who produce the best results? Could that even work?
- Other thoughts or comments?
Note to mods: feel free to move to GD if you feel that this fits better there.