Marketing the Magnet School

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The concept of an Interdistrict magnet school is one that has played a significant role in the field of educational studies, especially when discussing desegregation.  Congress announced its support for the funding of magnet schools as options for desegregated education with the Emergency School Aid Act of 1972.  These schools were proposed as a means of integrating the learning environment by attracting students from many different districts into a school with a quality curriculum that focuses on a specific theme.  The federal government continues to grant funding to magnet schools that choose to apply for the aid, as long as these schools meet specific eligibility requirements, such as desegregation.  For magnet schools to achieve their goal of desegregation, they need to attract high percentages of students from suburbs into their location in the city.  The idea is that because these schools are drawing from many different districts, across designated boundaries, they are therefore appealing to students of many different races and socioeconomic statuses while also aiding desegregation within the school.  Because some magnet schools struggle to attract a diverse body of students, they need to adjust their marketing strategies to appeal to a broad audience of students.

As the concept of the magnet school has evolved over time, so have the marketing strategies for schools.  My research question is, has magnet school marketing in the Hartford region changed over time to attract a diverse student body, in order to be eligible for federal aid?  There has been an expected shift from simple marketing pamphlets, to a technology-based advertising strategy.  Furthermore, developers have added magnet schools with themes revolving around the arts to attract students of higher socioeconomic status.  Therefore, magnet school marketing in the Hartford Region has changed overtime, and this change can be explained by the increased pressure to prove desegregation in the school.

Magnet schools are public schools that attempt desegregation by enrolling students from across many different district lines.  The goal of this type of desegregation was to integrate segregated schools without requiring forced busing (Rossell, 303).  Congress announced its support for  federal magnet school funding through the Emergency School Aid Act of 1972.  This act provided choice for families, rather than demanding integration (Rossell, 303).  Research says, “desegregation was the primary reason for the creation of magnet programs and schools” (Arcia, 2).  Magnet schools are designed with a thematic curriculum, which allows an opportunity for high-quality education to a broad range of students (Arcia, 3).  Christine Rossell interprets this as; “Proponents claim that their implementation and operation will significantly reduce overall hostility to desegregation by providing quality education in an integrated setting.  Rather than viewing school desegregations as a threat, white parents will view it as an opportunity” (Rossell, 304).  The federal government declared it’s support for magnet schools because the goal to offer a peaceful chance for educational integration.

More recently, the government has continued to grant funding to magnet schools for the purpose of desegregation and as assistance for schools with high concentrations of poverty (Civil Rights Project, 7).  Through the US Department of Education, the Magnet School Assistance program provides funding to schools every three years.  “The U.S. Department of Education reviews grant applications, typically selecting 30 to 50 school districts per cycle to receive funding” (Civil Rights Project 7).  In 2010, the Obama Administration declared that for schools to be eligible for a federal grant, they need to prove that they are actually integrating students by reducing minority isolation (Civil Rights Project, 9).  The process of the federal government providing magnet schools with grants has continued since the 1970s, with the goal of equity in mind.  However, the process of grant eligibility has become stricter as racial and socioeconomic segregation has increased within schools.

Typically, urban public schools consist widely of minority students, while suburban schools are predominantly white.  In order to for magnet schools to receive federal funding, they need to enroll students from both the city and the suburbs, which will allow for both racial and social class integration in the school.  For example, in the wake of great opposition to segregation in Hartford in 1989 arose the lawsuit Sheff v O’Neill filed by a mother, Elizabeth Horton Sheff in the name of her son and other students against segregation of schools (Dougherty, Esteves, Wanzer, Tatem, Bell, Cobb, Esposito, 1).  Their belief was that the segregation was unlawful, and that integration would provide all students with a better education.  In a 2003 settlement of Sheff, magnet schools and a Hartford School choice program were designated as tools to attract students from the city and from suburbs (Dougherty et al., 2).   Usually, there is a trend of students wanting to leave the urban schools, and enroll in schools outside the city.  However, this is rarely reversed meaning that it is not as common for suburban students to be drawn to urban schools.

One way magnet schools attract suburban students into the city is through marketing strategies.  Promotional tools of magnet schools exist to attract potential students towards applying to the school.  Through research of magnet school marketing tools such as pamphlets and websites from a variety of different years, it is clear that some strategies have remained the same.  For example, promotional tools hark on the quality of education that students at the school receive, while expressing the goals of the school.  This may be a result of sources online that provide outlines for how marketing of magnet schools should look.  At the top of one such outline from Omaha Magnet Schools, a line reads “The School that Tells the Best True Story Wins” (Magnet School Marketing Plan, 1).  This template stresses the importance of expressing the goals of the magnet school in promotion, while highlighting attractive aspects about the school that will draw applicants in.  Based on research, these are themes that have existed in many promotional tools over time.

While the basic themes of magnet school marketing tools have remained the same, there are many inherent differences as well.  Within Hartford, magnet school marketing tools have been adapted to expand audiences.  In 2004, magnet schools were promoted through pamphlets that provided an overview of Hartford’s Interdistrict magnet school program.  The booklet is designed in a bright yellow background with bolded letters on the front that read: “Hartford Host Interdistrict Magnet Schools”.  There is a graphic of a multicolored H and rising sun below the title.  The pamphlet opens up into a booklet, and the eye is immediately drawn to a large blue text that says “learning for life.”  Following this slogan are statements about the goals of Hartford magnet schools that express the benefits of the magnet program, such as no tuition cost for parents, or the home school districts.  The booklet expands to a map of the Greater Hartford Region and a list of the eligible magnet schools.  Text on these pages reveal that the schools are dedicated to academic excellence, as well as providing application dates, information on the enrollment process, and a reminder that there is no tuition cost.  The pamphlet opens once more to become a poster size where each magnet school is described individually.  In 2004, there were 8 Hartford magnet schools promoted in this booklet.  Descriptions of each school provided the theme of the curriculum, information on how many seats were available in each school and for which grades, and claims regarding a desegregated learning environment.  The application is provided on the far right side of this page.  It is a very simple, straightforward application that would be mailed back to the Hartford Magnet School Office.  This process seems very simple, the system of mailing these pamphlets out makes it difficult to reach a broad audience of people.

Today, Hartford Magnet Schools as well as CREC magnet schools that are located in the Greater Hartford Region, are promoted together online.  Simply searching the web for “choice education” will take a potential applicant directly to the Regional School Choice Office (RSCO) for the Greater Hartford Region website.  The homepage provides links to many different informational pages such as latest news and events, RSCO lottery information, and even a link that simply states “what you need to know.”  Included in the homepage is a video called “It’s a GO.”  The video offers student perspectives by explaining their personal reasons for choosing to take part in and why they appreciate the help of RSCO.  It also shows opinions of staff members form a variety of choice schools from the Greater Hartford Region.  Each member boasted about the diversity of the schools, the academic rigor, and the friendly environment that is welcoming of students from across the entire region.  This video adds to the promotion of magnet schools what paper pamphlets could not.  It offers viewers a look at how choice schools affect real people, giving the marketing process a personal, relatable feel.

The website also highlights links to lists of different options for magnet schools.  Following these links will take the viewer to a page that lists individual magnet school options as well as link to data about performance reports from each school.  With a wide array of schools to choose from, the addition of performance reports allows a student to narrow their options by offering factual statistics about the successes and failures of certain schools.  This page also offers links for specific magnet schools wich describe the themes, programs, special features, and lottery placement procedures exclusively for that school.  The website offers a seemingly endless stream of information for potential applicants which is far more than a pamphlet can do.  Although the goal of transferring marketing information onto the internet may not explicitly be to efficiently inform students in the suburbs, this is a positive consequence of the change.

Based on the evidence provided, from 2004 to 2014, there has been a shift in the type of marketing magnet schools use.  Although the content within promotional packages has remained relatively the same, highlighting what makes certain magnet schools successful and answering all the questions about why an applicant should attend, the strategies for publicizing this information has changed.  Marketing in 2004 consisted of paperback pamphlets mailed to the homes of potential applicants.  Naturally, this technique has changed, and all of this information is available on the Internet.  Interestingly, the time period of this shift has been almost bisected by the 2010 change in federal grant eligibility.  Perhaps, the shift is due to the fact that the Internet can be accessed more quickly by larger aggregates of people, specifically the families in suburbs who are likely to have Internet access.  By providing this cohort of people simple, readily available information, magnet school supporters may believe that these people will be more likely to apply to choice schools.  By attracting these students, magnet schools are more likely to become desegregated and therefore applicable for grants.

Furthermore, there has been an increase in the amount of arts themed magnet schools from 2004 to 2014.  Students from higher socioeconomic status are more likely to have exposure to art, museums, or theatre at a younger age and thus may be more interested in pursuing these fields in secondary schooling.  Some students may be drawn to urban schools if it offers them a chance to learn in an environment geared to their interests more so than a traditional high school.  The 2004 Hartford manget schools pamphlet does not advertise for any schools with curricula specifically focused in the arts.  However, today schools such as Journalism and Media Academy Magnet School, RJ Kinsella Magnet School of Performing Arts, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, and Pathways Academy of Technology and Design (RSCO) exist which all have arts based focus.  This increase in arts and performance based schools may be a marketing technique to draw middle and upperclass students into urban area schools, by providing certain students with educational options they may value.

The idea that implementation of arts focused curricula as a way of attracting a variety of students is especially convincing when comparing magnet schools to Hartford district schools.  The majority of district schools offer average high school curricula, teaching math, english, and science.  However, district schools are more likely to be vocational than magnet schools.  Although some magnet schools may be related to occupations, it is more common to see this in district schools.  For example, Hartford offers the Culinary Arts Academy, HPHS Academy of Nursing and Health Sciences, and the HPHS Law and Government Academy (HPS).  The number of vocational schools may be related to class differences, because typically more urban students are likely to pursue a vocational education.  It is hard to argue that their interest causes magnet schools to add arts based themes, however this addition certainly helps them to attract a variety of students from the suburbs and the city who do not wish to attend traditional or vocational schools.  This indeed would help desegregate a school looking for federal grants.

Ultimately, it is difficult to understand if changes in marketing strategies have attracted more suburban students without analyzing data.  To continue this research, I wish to access data on the numbers of suburban students who apply for magnet school enrollment in Hartford, and whether or not this has altered along with the changes in marketing techniques.

Works Cited


Arcia, E. (2006). Comparison of the enrollment percentages of magnet and non-magnet schools in a large urban school district. Educational Policy Analysis Archives, 14(33), 1-16. Retrieved from


Dougherty , Jack, Naralys Estevez, Jesse Wanzer, David Tatem, Courtney Bell, Casey Cobb, and Craig Esposito. “A Visual Guide to Sheff vs. O’neill School Desegregation.” N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr 2014. <>.


“Greater Hartford Regional School Choice Office.” Regional School Choice Office for the Greater Hartford Region. Web. <>.


Magnet Schools of America, . “15 Annual International Conference.” . N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr 2014. <>.


Magnet Schools of America, . “32nd National Conference .” . N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr 2014. <>.


Omaha Magnet Schools, . “Magnet School Marketing Plan 2010-2011.” . N.p.. Web. 16 Apr 2014. <>.


Rossell, C. H. (1979). Magnet schools as a desegregation tool. Urban Education, 302-320. Retrieved from html


The Civil Rights Project. “Reviving Magnet Schools: Strengthening a Successful Choice Option.” .1 Feb. 2002. Web. . <>.







Proposal 2014

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Question:  How has the promotion of Magnet Schools in Hartford changed over time and does this affect whether enrollment of students from suburbs increases or decreases?

Why does this need to be researched?  Before coming to Trinity College, I had never even heard of “Magnet Schools.”  However, after living in Hartford for a year and a half, Magnet Schools have become a topic of weekly discussion in a variety of my classes.  It is clear that they are a relatively new aspect to the educational system, and all of the hype about these schools make them seem revolutionary.    I would like to know if this hype actually translates into the enrollment rates into these schools.  Its is particularly important to focus on whether or not magnet schools are attracting more or less students from the suburbs over time.  This is because one of the  claims that magnet school supporters make is that desegregating schools benefits students’ education.   Magnet School are supposed to be a tool for desegregation.  Part of desegregation requires enrollment of suburban, often white upper-middle class, students to be attracted to magnet schools in the city.  There is a trend of students wanting to leave the urban schools, and enroll in schools outside city.  However, this is rarely reversed, it is not as common for suburban students to be drawn to urban schools.  I am interested in finding out if the promotion of magnet schools has changed over time, and whether or not this promotion attracts more or less students from suburbs.  How “magnetic” are these schools really, and does this follow the trend of increased or decreased promotion of the schools.  It is easy to be blinded by the glaring promotion of Magnet Schools,  therefore it is important to look at the facts surrounding them.  Has the promotion of magnet schools changed over time, and does this translate into increased or decreased enrollment of students, particularly from suburbs?  This is important to research because it offers a viewpoint on whether or not magnet schools are fulfilling their goal of desegregation.

Research Process:

The process of research is always a daunting task for me, so to begin I am going to search online databases such as Trinity College Library’s, ERIC, and GoogleScholar.  I also am planning on scheduling time with a Trinity Librarian so they can assist me in finding the best and most relevant sources.  I am beginning my search by looking for articles that provide an overview of what Magnet Schools are, when they began, distinctive characteristics about them, and the goals of the schools.  I think this type of information will provide a good introduction to my paper.  I also need to research supporters of Magnet Schools and find more information on why Magnet Schools are seen as a desegregation tool.  I know that I cannot rely on just scholarly articles for this type of paper, I need to focus a lot on data.  I will be using the Magnet School Racial Survey By Town of Residence conducted by the Public School Information System for the school years from 2005-2008 to see if magnet school enrollment has changed or remained the same.  I will also find the most recent collection of this data.  I will be looking at magnet school promotional pamphlets generously provided by Jack to see how different magnet schools were advertised in January 2007.  I will compare this to magnet school websites that exist today, such as those on the CSDE website and take note on how their strategies have changed or remained the same.  I will finally analyze my findings and see is there is a relationship between changes in promotional techniques and enrollment.


Arcia, E. (2006). Comparison of the enrollment percentages of magnet and non-magnet schools in a large urban school district. Educational Policy Analysis Archives14(33), 1-16. Retrieved from

Connecticut state department of education. (2002). Retrieved from

Rossell, C. H. (1979). Magnet schools as a desegregation tool. Urban Education, 302-320. Retrieved from html

State of Connecticut Department of Education. (2005).Magnet school racial survey by town of residence . (also 2006, 2007, 2008)

assorted promotional pamphlets from Jan 2007 Magnet schools


Next Step:  I am also interested in looking into whether or not the promotion or “hype” about magnet schools actually matches up with the results these schools produce.  To make this fit the “change and continuity over time” aspect of this paper, I could research school level (or students level) data of test scores or another type of evaluation over the past few years.  I would then analyze this data and from it decide if there seems to be trends in increasing or decreasing performance in magnet schools.  I am hoping to possibly incorporate this into my paper.  I also need to request recent data on student enrollment in magnet schools.

The Plight of The American Teacher

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“The American Teacher” is a documentary that explains the struggles of teachers in the United States today.  It was directed and produced by Vanessa Roth, written by Dave Eggers, and narrated by Matt Damon.  The difficulties of the teaching career are told through interviews with educational policy experts and by chronicling a year of the lives of four teachers.  The documentary is funded by the Teacher Salary Project, “a nonpartisan organization dedicated to raising awareness about the impact of our national policy of underpaying and under-valuing educators” (“About The Project”).   The film conveys the idea that  the American educational system  struggles  because of the disrespect shown the teaching profession.

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Bill Gates discussing education reform
“The American Teacher”

“American Teacher” suggests that even though teaching is a difficult, laborious job, it is often low-paying and disrespected.  Also, despite the fact that it serves a vital role in shaping students’ futures, graduates from most selective colleges do not consider it for a career because it is not as prestigious as becoming a doctor or a lawyer.  According to the film, this results in students underperforming in schools.  A clip of Bill Gates, whose foundation has donated heftily to education reform, shows Mr. Gates asking, “how do you make education better?  The more we looked at it the more we realized that having great teachers was the very key thing” (Roth 0:01:21-0:01:30).  For the American education system to improve, we need distinguished, prepared, intelligent teachers for our students.  The film offers a solution to this problem: Given the problem of underperforming students in schools, the reform goal is to transform the nature of teaching by making it a more prestigious and well-paid occupation.  This can be accomplished by the capacity-building of the rigor of the teaching career, and designing programs to increase teachers’ salaries to entice professionals toward the career.

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The American Teacher

To express the difficulties inherent in the teaching profession, the film follows four teachers, Erik Benner from Texas, Jonathan Dearman from California, Jamie Fidler from New York, and Rhena Jasey from New Jersey for one year.  By filming class sessions and telling the story of the teachers’ lives at home, it is made clear that teachers work long hours both inside and outside of the classroom.  Fidler says, “I leave the house at seven o’clock in the morning…and I get home at 6:30” (Roth 0:04:45-0:05:00).  The film notes that the average teacher who does their job correctly works at least a 65 hour work week.  So why then, the film questions, is teaching regarded by society as an easy, attainable career?

To further illustrate the struggle of the American teacher, the film describes how low salaries affect a teacher’s personal life.  Erik Benner, a history teacher and middle school football coach in Texas, was forced to pick up a second job at Circuit City in order to support his family.  He justified this decision by saying that as a man, society views his as the “provider” of the family (Roth 0:39:40).  Between teaching and shifts at Circuit City, worked seven days a week, which put severe strain on his marriage and ultimately led to divorce.  It is clear his starting salary of $27,000  was not reflective of the amount of work he put into his job, and was not enough money to support a family.  Due to situations such as this, not only are fewer people interested in becoming teachers, but current teachers are being driven out of the classroom.

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The American Teacher

Money is a powerful incentive especially for recent college graduates.  It can have a profound influence on choosing certain professions.  It is no surprise that many of the best students want to become doctors or lawyers,  professions with the possibility of hefty salaries.  There is little motivation to become a teacher when there are many other professions with better salaries held in higher esteem.  The Vice President for educator quality at American institutes for research, Sabrina Laine said, “If you want somebody to stay in education…and you want them to feel like they can make a decent living…we gotta be more creative in the kinds of alternatives we provide for how we pay our teachers” (Roth 1:00:53-1:00:10).  Money is a possible incentive for attracting professionals towards the classroom.

    Zeke Vanderhoek, founder and principal of The Equality Project School (TEP), has designed a program in which the best teachers are brought to students who need them the most (Roth 1:01:50).  TEP is designed to solve the problem of the nature of teaching and to hopefully inspire other schools to redistribute funds so that teachers earn a salary they deserve.  The teachers hired at TEP receive a competitive starting salary of $125,000 which is publicly funded(Roth 1:02:13).  Vanderhoek says, “if you increase teachers’ salaries, you change the perception of what it means to be a teacher” (Roth 1:03:00-1:03:18).  The film does not however, offer any indication of how TEP “redistributes funds.”  For example, it does not discuss if any programs have been cut in order to pay teachers more money.  Schools around the country who have adopted similar programs have reported rising graduation rates, lower drop-out rates and higher teacher retention rates.  The ultimate goal is to fix the American education system, and “The American Teacher” argues that through programs such as TEP, which allows teachers to be regarded as high-ranking, well-paid professionals, our schools will improve.

    The New York Times identifies gaps in the documentary.  The article, “What’s a Teacher Worth” by Neil Genzlinger suggests that teacher pay is not the only factor for improving schools, and the film should have expressed other major issues.  “The film…never addresses specifically how higher salaries would be financed…and it treats pay as if it’s the only factor in educational dysfunction; not a word is said about no-show students, uninvolved parents or other issues” (Genzlinger).  This is a legitimate claim, however, the documentary correctly expresses how teaching and specifically teacher quality affects schooling.  By highlighting the adversities teachers face, the film succeeds in offering a compelling argument that by making education a distinguished, prestigious career choice, we will improve the education system.

Works Cited

“About the Project .” Teacher Salary Project. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Feb 2014. <>.

American Teacher. Dir. Vanessa Roth. Prod. Ninive Calegari and Dave Eggers. 2011.

Genzlinger, Neil. “What’s a Teacher Worth.” The New York Times. N.p., 27 09 2011. Web. 21 Feb 2014. <>.

First Education Committee Meeting Ends in Disappointment

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On February 10, 2014 at 10:30 in the morning, the Hartford Education Committee held their first meeting of the 2014 session at the Legislative Office Building of the Hartford General Assembly. Room 2C was filled with an audience of people in amphitheater style seating, interested and perhaps even passionate about reforming the Connecticut education system.  The audience seemed prepared to devote a considerable amount of time to the meeting, as many were dressed in suits, ready to take notes on laptops and in notebooks.  Both of us were excited to witness discussion about the many issues existing in Connecticut schools today.  Having never attended an education committee meeting before, we expected a lengthy and thoughtful deliberation that would illustrate the direction education reform would take in the coming year.

Senator Andrea L. Stillman opened the meeting by welcoming everyone to the new session.  She introduced other committee chairs, who all seemed eager to make progress in the new term.  Representative Andrew Fleischmann remarked that he was especially enthusiastic to address the issues of reforming pre-schools and increasing safety in schools. He declared another worthy goal the committee had: “we want to do good while keeping the number of bills short”.

Senator Stillman addressed Section III of the meeting agenda schedule, titled “Committee Concepts to be Raised”, stating that these were all issues to be discussed at future meetings.  Section III lists several issues: special education, magnet schools, collaboration between boards of education and school resource officers, authorization of state grant commitments for school building projects, and social media education.  Having yet to formalize most of these into a bill, Stillman suggested, “don’t try to look up these bills because there is no language for them yet.” There was a collective response from the audience in favor of reviewing these topics at future meetings, and with that the meeting concluded.

Initially when Stillman called recess, it seemed logical to assume that the meeting was taking a short break, and that conversation would once again resume.  Some members remained seated, engaging in small-talk with one another, while others rushed out of the room.  We waited for about five minutes expecting a sign that the meeting was going to recommence.  Finally, we got the courage to ask another member of the audience if the meeting was still going.  The man we asked told us that the meeting was in fact over, and that the purpose of it was to simply vote that the concepts raised would be discussed in greater detail in the future.  These concepts would eventually take form in a bill.  However, there was still no decided time and date for the next meeting.

Leaving the meeting, we were shocked at the outcome and lack of effectiveness that took place.  There are clearly many issues with the Connecticut education system, and we expected this meeting to address some of them.  In addition to the many concepts to be raised, there were three previously raised governors bills on the agenda.  It is not surprising that these issues will not be resolved, or that they will take a long time to be resolved because of the nature of the legislative process that we witnessed before our eyes.  If our government continues to treat major issues, such as education reform, with such insignificance and lightness, progress in creating policy will inevitably be absent.

Similarly, we were surprised by the tardiness of the people attending the meeting and the tardiness of the meeting itself which started ten minutes late.  Because this was such a formal assembly with senators and representatives, we expected promptness and efficiency.  Neither of us could believe that people took time out of their schedules for what seemed like such a disorganized and unproductive gathering that only lasted about twenty minutes.

Even while the meeting was taking place, the comments that were made by senators and representatives lacked substance.  Those in attendance introduced themselves and spoke only of how excited they were to reconvene in session.  These were nice remarks, however they were redundant and neglected to articulate the key issues at hand.  One would expect these powerful voices to have more to say regarding some of the most prominent issues in our society.  It felt as if we were sitting in a high school class, where a student would makes a comment, and three more students paraphrased the same concept simply to gain participation points.  We were truly disappointed by the lack of originality and value in their words.

Ultimately, the outcome of this meeting was disappointing.  Our expectations for quality conversation and strong voices receded quickly.  However, observing this event allowed us to understand the inner workings of today’s legislative process in a way that highlights their flaws and truly depicts why education reform is a complicated, cluttered, and slow-moving process.

Isabel and Emily at the Education Committee meeting
Photo Credit: Christina Raiti

Isabel Monteleone is a student at Trinity College ‘16, majoring in Public Policy and Law

Emily Meehan is a student at Trinity College ‘16, majoring in Educational Studies


Avoiding Plagiarism

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Step One:  No measure is perfect, but the estimates of value-added and other “growth models,” which attempt to isolate the “true effect” of an individual teacher through his or her students’ test scores, are alarmingly error-prone in any given year.

Step Two:   Assessments of teachers change from year to year.  A teacher with a high ranking one year may receive a lower ranking the next year.

Step Three:  The scores can change between years.  A teacher’s ranking one year is likely to receive a different ranking the next year.  There will always be changes in these rankings, and sometimes the changes will reflect actual performance changes (Ravitch, 270-271).

Step Four:  It is difficult to hold teachers accountable for their students’ success because there is no easy way to assess a teacher’s progress.  This is because the current models of assessment are unreliable (Ravitch 270-271).

Step Five:   It is difficult to hold teachers accountable for their students’ success because there is no easy way to assess a teacher’s progress.  This is because the current models of assessment are unreliable.  Diane Ravitch says, “No measure is perfect, but the estimates of value-added and other ‘growth models,’ which attempt to isolate the ‘true effect’ of an individual teacher through his or her students’ test scores, are alarmingly error-prone in any given year (Ravitch, 270-271).

Learning Goals

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I would like to learn more about the educational policies that existed in the past.  Once I have some knowledge about these policies, I would like to explore how each, if any, influenced the development of modern policies.  Also, I would like to evaluate how successful educational reforms from the past have effected the educational system today.