Why Do Girls Get All the Good Teachers

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Tyler B., Apr 28, 2015.

  1. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Apr 28, 2015

    Interesting article by Bruce Baker who crunched the numbers and found that elementary classrooms that had a larger percentage of boys were more likely to have lower scores. He found an effect for class size, too.

    Baker is upset that the Value Added measurements done by many states show that teachers who have more poor kids are deemed less skilled teachers. Those tests are worthless for judging teacher competence, but they are really good at finding which teachers have poor kids in their classrooms.
     
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  3. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I have 14 boys and 4 girls this year. My test scores are above average. I think that it is harder to keep 14 boys on task to test, but that is one moment in time. My boys are competitive and I use it to my advantage.
     
  4. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Out of 6 years in this grade, I have had 3 classes that were mostly boys (ratios like 11:3). Those 3 classes had test scores that were at least as high, if not higher, than my more evenly distributed classes (and even my one class of mostly girls). Just not something I've noticed in my (admittedly limited) experience.
     
  5. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I had to do an analysis of test scores based on various demographics at my school for a grad school report. I had to look at reading state test scores for 3 years back in grades 3-6, and gender was one of the demographics I had to analyze. At my school, girls vastly outperformed boys at every grade level and in all 3 years of data that I looked at. The gap was often 35% or more, and the smallest gap between girls and boys was just under 20%. I was very surprised by that- of course we'd often talk about gaps with free and reduced lunch or minority students but no one had ever brought up a gender gap at my school before.
     
  6. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    That's really interesting. I've always heard that girls mature faster than boys, but I haven't noticed or looked into any gaps in academic achievement.

    Class size definitely makes a huge difference. The more students you have, the less time you have to address every child's needs. The idea that class size "might" have an effect on standardized testing, and needs to be researched, is ridiculous. Of course it does! But hopefully that research will have a positive impact somehow, somewhere.
     
  7. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Apr 29, 2015

    I've had a class which was girl-heavy, even, and boy-heavy. The girl-heavy group (current group) is the lowest overall and will end up with the lowest test scores... but that's entirely due to my boys. It's a low overall group of boys, and their behavior is far worse than from any of the other groups. The girls just sit back and roll their eyes at them.

    Long story short... I could definitely buy the idea that the more boys there are in a group, the lower achieving (on average) the group is.

    Sometimes I think there's real validity to the idea of having boys and girls in different classrooms... but then I remember that boys balance out the girl drama, and girls balance out the boy energy level.
     
  8. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Apr 30, 2015

    This isn't a new idea - just another variable to be added into the mix.
     
  9. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I just wanted to point out our tendency when faced with research and data collected over a large survey of classrooms, to want to respond with our anecdotal evidence from our classrooms to try to disprove it. Not saying that there's anything really wrong with it, but the research will always outweigh our personal experiences and shouldn't be used to discount extensive research done by others.

    It's natural to want to compare the research to our personal experiences (I do it too!), but remember that our experiences are usually statistically insignificant compared to these studies.

    Not to say that I have any positive or negative opinions on the topic of THIS research. Just that this is a trend I've seen in most threads citing evidence from research.
     
  10. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    Apr 30, 2015

    Peregrin, interesting post. I think we have to realize that both cases (research results and conflicting anecdotal data) CAN be true. In plain English, statistics gathered from a sample (rather than the entire population) are useful for telling us what may happen, or perhaps the most likely outcome. It does not (nor should it) proclaim to predict the outcomes of all events.

    So if the data suggests that students test better under full moon conditions after eating pork chops before breakfast, Misses Johnson's class may actually test worse (for a variety of reasons) during these conditions. This neither negates the research NOR does it invalidate Miss Johnson's teaching methods.

    The trouble lies in making this a binary discussion when in fact both parties may be "telling the truth" so to speak.
     
  11. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I think that when we start evaluating teachers based on student achievement as measured by standardized test scores, it's going to open a few cans of worms and generate a few good conversations.

    Foremost among those conversation topics will be the impact that the behavior of a small number of students has on the achievement of the class as a whole. The amount of instructional time that is lost these days from teachers having to deal with behavior is, in my opinion, astounding based on what I read here, observe at my own school and experience in my own classroom.
     
  12. HorseLover

    HorseLover Comrade

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    We already do in many states. :(
     
  13. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    I think the author of the article was making a statement about how ridiculous it is to judge teachers based on test scores.
     
  14. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    May 1, 2015


    I agree. I'm just wary of people discounting completely evidence based on larger sample sizes because of anecdotal evidence. It's not just here, it happens all over the internet (i.e. my facebook feed).

    As a science enthusiast I just sometimes get frustrated when it happens.
     

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